Policy Alert: Comments due July 12, 2016

Stakeholder Input on Legislative Appropriations Request of

the Texas Workforce Commission

Please send comments by Tuesday, July 12  5pm to:
TWCPolicyComments@twc.state.tx.us
cc Gwendolyn Jones at: Gwendolyn Jones (ACF)
gwendolyn.jones@acf.hhs.gov
Below is a sample letter that may be edited with your comments.

1. Fund 3 Pilots to use the Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System: Building a quality early childhood workforce is reliant on understanding the professional development attainment and needs of the workforce and quantity and quality of available professional development opportunities for early childhood practitioners (teachers, directors, trainers). Specific opportunities include:

  • Data and clarity around how quality dollars being spent on professional development are allocated. Each year, millions of dollars are spent on improving quality by supporting the professional development of the EC Workforce. Unfortunately, there is no current system outside the registry available to track the trainings and education or to evaluate progress toward a more qualified workforce.
  • Aggregate level information about what trainings people use for renewal hours and the quality of the trainer and how individuals are making progress on degree or certification pathways
  • Opportunity to identify gaps in professional development and guide local funding
  • Cost savings for DFPS and TWC who need to verify trainings
  • Avoidance of duplicated processes (such as verifying trainings)

Provide $1.5 Million annually in funding for 3 years to pilot approaches to improve data collection and usefulness and to increase registry utilization in 3 workforce board areas

2. Continue to fund the expansion of Infant/Toddler Care Capacity and quality initiatives. Include input from state or local agencies responsible for children with special needs, including IDEA (Part C) providers, agencies or local agencies responsible for child welfare, mental health, homeless education, home visiting programs, CACFP, child care agencies or private child care providers.

3. Consider the introduction and use of child care contracts in addition to vouchers for quality-rated programs only.

  • Introduce an RFP for pilot program(s) around the state to use child care grants or contracts for slots with funding for evaluation to understand the impact on parents, children and programs. Priority should be given to the development of high quality child care programs in low-income neighborhoods.
  • Provide immediate flexibility and support to local workforce boards to use contracted slots in high quality programs only.

4. Enhance current professional development activities related to quality and availability by using CCDF resources, training, and technical assistance.

5. Include input from state or local agencies responsible for children with special needs, including IDEA (Part C) providers, agencies or local agencies responsible for child welfare, mental health, homeless education, home visiting programs, CACFP, child care agencies or private child care providers in developing policies that guide access to child care subsidy assistance for homeless children and families.

Questions? Contact Sadie Funk, Executive Director at sfunk@first3yearstx.org

Fact Sheet:

Early Childhood Workforce Professional Development Registry Policy Brief- June 2016