A Message from First 5 Alameda County CEO, Kristin Spanos

 

Dear Partners:

As you may know, Measure A: the Alameda County Child Care and Early Education Measure received 66.2% of the vote which means it did not garner the required two-thirds or 66.67% to pass during the June election. It was an estimated 1,600 votes short.  I want to share my gratitude for everyone involved with this amazing effort to ensure families in Alameda County have improved access to quality early care and education opportunities. Getting Measure A on the ballot showed the will of Alameda County leaders to do right by our kids and the people that love and care for them. First 5 Alameda County has been working on these critical issues for the past 20 years and we understand that deep, broad change takes time. We also know that momentum is on our side and we’re not going to give up because our future prosperity depends on our young children getting what they need to thrive. The coalition working on this effort made tremendous strides in building partnerships with policymakers, advocates, and community members and we’re going to keep on collaborating to find solutions in the months and years to come. I hope you will continue to join us on the journey to expand investments for our youngest children and their families.

 

Kristin Spanos

CEO

First 5 Alameda County

 

 Celebrate Five Years of Fathers Corps on Friday, June 22, 2018

 

The Alameda County Fathers Corps, established in 2013, (ACFC) is a collaborative effort involving First 5 Alameda County, Alameda County's Health Care Services Agency and Social Services Agency. The ACFC promotes and supports fathers and father-figures to be meaningfully engaged with their children and families advocates for family service providers to provide father friendly services and assists fathers in strengthening their parenting skills.  Please join us to learn about the Fathers Corps' accomplishments, impact, current expansion and next steps THIS Friday, June 22nd, from 11:30am-2:30pm at the Trudeau Training Center in Oakland. 

Register HERE.

 

Empowering Quality Family Child Care in the Greater Bay Area Conference to be held on Saturday, June 23, 2018

 

The Alameda Professional Childcare Association invites Family Child Care Providers to a one-day Empowering Quality Family Child Care in the Greater Bay Area Conference THIS Saturday, June 23rd in Oakland. The Conference is sponsored by CA Quality Counts Hub 4 and Quality Counts Alameda County and endorsed by NAFCC. Expect an incredible lineup of workshops with translation available in Spanish and Chinese! Come network with other family child care providers.

Register HERE.  

 

 

Policy Update - June 2018

 

Local

  • The County of Alameda’s budget process for FY 2018-19 is about to conclude. There is a final budget hearing on June 26th, the final budget deliberations will occur on June 27th and the budget will be adopted by the Board of Supervisors on June 29th.      
  • In addition to Measure A, there were several other children’s initiatives on the June 5th ballot in the Bay Area. In San Francisco, Measure C, which is an additional tax on commercial rent to fund child care, appears to have passed with 50.78% of the vote.   In Richmond, Measure E, or the Richmond Fund for Children and Youth sets aside a portion of the city’s budget annually to support programs for children, passed by 76.27% of the vote.

 

State

  • On June 15th, the Senate and Assembly passed the fiscal year 18-19 budget, and the Governor must now sign the budget into law by June 30th. The budget includes, for the first time, $158.5 million for home visiting, and  increases the minimum CalWORKs grant for families to at least 50% of the federal poverty level. A $900 million investment in early learning will fund 13,400 child care and 2,947 preschool slots; additional funding will increase reimbursement rates for infant-toddler care and for supporting special needs kids.

 

Federal

There are a lot of changes regarding immigration policy in the U.S. and we will have more comprehensive information on these changes to share soon. The below focuses on the zero tolerance policy that is resulting in parents and children being separated at the border. The facts are:

  • On May 7, 2018, the Trump Administration declared a zero tolerance policy that now requires all adults coming into the U.S. illegally to be criminally prosecuted, including those seeking asylum. If they have minor children, they then become “unaccompanied minors” and placed in foster care, released to relatives or placed in a care facility operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement because they cannot be incarcerated with their parents.
  • This is not a new policy.  However, previously, the policy of criminally prosecuting all adults entering the U.S. illegally was not universally adhered to and parents were processed and released with a pending court date or deported with their children. This is no longer the case; everyone crossing the border is being prosecuted. It’s the decision by the Trump Administration to prosecute everyone, including parents, that is causing the separations and it is in their power to reverse it.
  • It is widely believed the zero tolerance policy was put in place by the Trump administration primarily to deter other immigrants from attempting to enter the U.S.
  • Internal Department of Homeland Security data covering the period of April 19th to May 31st showed that 1,995 children were taken from their parents at the border. There are concerns about the ability of the federal government to adequately care for these children.
  • Homeland Security officials denied separating babies from parents except in cases where a person poses a threat or is believed not to be the parent. They would not specify an age at which they would not separate immigrant children from parents.
  • Impact on Children and Families: Substantial research shows that separating children from their families unnecessarily is harmful. Read the statement from Zero to Three HERE on the impact of this policy.

What’s being done?

  • Several bills have been introduced in Congress to end this practice. S.3036 introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein called the Keep Families Together Act would make the practice of separating families illegal.
  • ACLU filed a law suit in February when this policy slowly began to take root and its advancing through the courts.
  • Many advocacy organizations, including the First 5 Association, signed on to letters to the administration and to Congress to end this practice.
  • The Republican immigration bills being considered in the House of Representatives do not fix this issue.
  • The First 5 Alameda County Commission passed a resolution supporting all children and families regardless of their immigration status in April, 2017.

Local Resources:

  1. Centro Legal de La Raza
  2. IRC
  3. CERI

National Resources:

  1. Mom’s Rising
  2. Kids in Need of Defense
  3. Customs and Border Control document on how to locate children, Next Steps for Families
  4. Families Belong Together


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