Kidango is an early learning nonprofit committed to setting every child on a path to thrive in kindergarten and in life. As the largest child care provider in the San Francisco Bay Area, we provide children with safe, healthy and nurturing environments and relationships, fostering the social, emotional, and academic skills they need to learn, grow and realize their potential. From our position at the nexus of practice, policy and research, we advocate for evidence-based early learning and care policies that help close the opportunity and readiness gaps for our youngest learners.
Kidango’s advocacy, policy, and research team is committed to designing and moving forward policy solutions that uplift the voices and perspectives of families and child care professionals. Kidango’s advocacy process is built to involve families and child care professionals at each step of the way. Our budget and policy priorities this year were shaped by focus groups and insights directly from Kidango classrooms and staff, from departments ranging from enrollment to nutrition.
Our state has made huge commitments and policy changes to move towards an Early Care and Education (ECE) field that is professionally and financially supported to create environments where all children can thrive. Our priorities this year are grounded in our strongly held conviction that we must continue this momentum if we are to achieve the transformative system changes California has laid out in the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care. This can be seen in the issues we will advocate for on a state level, as well as our focus on implementing new policies and practices in the most beneficial ways possible for children.
2023-2024 Budget Priorities
- We support a model that reduces the financial burden on families by eliminating family fees. At a minimum, to reduce the burden of inflation and the impacts of the pandemic and extend the family fee waiver for an additional two years.
Empower the ECE workforce and the continued growth of a sustainable ECE system
- Address the teacher shortage crisis by providing an 18-month waiver for a teacher aide to become an associate teacher.
- Support a Single Reimbursement Rate System – Increase reimbursement rates for all providers through the cost-based model proposed by the CA Rate and Quality Work Group to ensure the early childhood workforce earns a professional wage, including benefits, is supported with consultation, coaching, education and training, and has access to career pathways.
- Contract earnings and provider payments are based on child enrollment or contract expenditures, whichever is less.
Ongoing Policy Priorities
Our overarching policy objectives continue to be the following:
Children, particularly infants and toddlers, and those who have been most marginalized; specifically Black, Latinx, Indigenous children and families, and others harmed by systemic racism, oppression, exclusion, and economic inequities; have equitable access to high-quality early childhood services that meet their unique needs.
ECE programs in centers, family child care homes, and public schools provide high-quality early learning and care designed to improve child outcomes and school readiness:
- All children are supported to become bilingual and bi-literate.
- Secure a 10% adjustment factor for dual language immersion in CSPP classrooms
- Work with up to 5 counties to embed a DLL-focus in local Quality Counts California (QCC) systems, including quality improvement efforts, developing tools, communication materials, training, etc. whereby points and additional funding are allocated to QCC systems for dual immersion classrooms.
- Secure funding to establish a robust community of practice connecting ECE professional development providers with DLL expertise that builds their capacity to provide DLL-focused training across mixed delivery systems.
A whole-child, whole-family early childhood system designed to meet the comprehensive needs of children and families, including mental health, health, nutrition, well-being, and basic needs.
- Reimagining inclusion policies, models, and practices in state preschool to equitably support the diverse needs of all children.
- Monitor new inclusion policies and implementation to ensure the outcome is radically accepting and affirming environments for children of all abilities. Within these efforts, keep a close eye on how these policies impact our Black, Latinx, and Indigenous children. Advocate for policy changes, as needed, and for shifts in practice in programs across the state by disseminating information about Kidango’s process to reimagine our inclusion culture and practices.
If you’re passionate about early childhood education and would like to make your voice heard, join our advocacy network.
For more information about policy and advocacy at Kidango, please contact Maéva Marc, VP of Advocacy & Policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.