Council would possibly arrange nonprofit specializing in early childhood training
The board would consist of 13 government officials, including 12 from the private sector
Montgomery County Council is due to enact law on Tuesday to establish a nonprofit organization dedicated to early childhood education.
According to the bill, the company is tasked with making recommendations to district officials on how to expand access to “quality early care and education programs” for children from birth to 5 years old – especially children from low-income families, those with Individuals with special needs and those learning English as a second language.
It is also charged with securing private sector funding to achieve this goal, as well as managing the public funds made available to the institution.
The nonprofit, known as the Early Care and Education Coordinating Entity, would have a board of 13 government officials and 12 from the private sector, appointed by the district leadership and endorsed by the district council.
She would elect three co-chairs to chair this body: a public sector official, a private sector member, and a parent or guardian. The government officials would be:
- The manager’s early childhood education officer or a representative
- a council member with expertise in early childhood education
- a representative appointed by the education committee of the district
- Two representatives appointed by the principal of the Montgomery County Public Schools
- Four representatives of the district ministry for health and social affairs
- A representative of the Office of Administration and Budget
- A representative from Montgomery College
- A representative from the universities in Shady Grove
- The Montgomery County Kirwan Coordinator or agent
Private sector members include:
- Three parents or legal guardians with children in childcare and / or pre-kindergarten programs
- Two providers of early education and training close to the center
- Two family childcare providers
- Two representatives of an employer who is not an early childhood education provider
- A representative of a philanthropic foundation
- Two representatives of a non-profit company with a focus on equity and inclusion, youth development, business development or human resource development
Councilor Nancy Navarro, one of the main sponsors the bill, told reporters at a news conference that public and private sector officials across the county have been focusing heavily on early childhood education for several years. However, the proposal could help an industry hit by the pandemic, she said.
“That was before our policies for racial and social justice. That was before the pandemic broke out, ”said Navarro. “We know more than ever that the availability of quality, affordable and accessible childcare is critical as we … try to recover from COVID-19. And we know that this sector has been hit very, very hard. “
She said the county’s Children’s Opportunity Fund will be part of the overall funding. That year it allocated $ 375,000 to “provide funding to support policy priorities that address the social determinants that affect the achievement gap of children at risk and the barriers to their families,” said the County budget website.
Navarro said the immediate goal is for the public-private partnership to mobilize more private resources with public money.
“This company now has the opportunity to use other means to find innovative practice and work together for us to make our taxpayers’ dollars a little further,” said Navarro.
Councilor Craig Rice, another main sponsor, said the company was important not only in terms of early education and child development, but also across the job pipeline.
He described a term he coined with former Montgomery College president DeRionne Pollard.
“I’m going to coin one of the sentences that Dr. [DeRionne] Pollard and I joined forces on one of our education budget forums: ‘From Pre-K to J.’ And that’s why we have to make sure we’re solid from kindergarten to job, ”Rice told reporters on Monday.
According to the law, the institution itself is not allowed to offer direct services or programs related to early childhood education. But the board must submit a report to the county board and county council by October 1 each year on how it plans to raise additional public and private funding for early childhood education across the county.
It also needs to compile data on the current level of investment, the availability of places for early childhood education – including for “isolated and vulnerable populations” – and school readiness across a range of populations.
A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for November 30th at 1:30 p.m.
Steve Bohnel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org