Join us to support culturally specific early learning!
We are excited to announce that we are collaborating on two early childhood education bills in the Oregon Legislature this session!
HB3069 will create a fund for culturally specific programs focused on early learning. And the other priority (does not have a bill number yet) will create a certification path for Community Education Workers based on the Traditional Health Worker certification model.
We have been meeting with lawmakers and will be testifying on the bills in the coming months. We have also hired our first lobbyist to help us work with partners and lawmakers!
If you're interested in supporting HB3069, you can join us for a hearing on Tuesday, April 18 at the State Capitol or by submitting written testimony!
HB 3069 - Early Childhood Equity Fund
April 18, 2017
1:00 - 3:00 (please arrive no later than 12:45)
Hearing Room D of State Capitol
1) HB3069 - Early Childhood Equity Fund
Families and children of color are a large and growing part of Oregon’s early learning community – 36.5% of all births in Oregon are babies of color! Yet, too often they do not have access to culturally specific programs. Just 16% of Latino children have access to Head Start in their community.
Oregon funds many amazing early childhood programs with state dollars, however, only a small number of programs are eligible for this program. Given the growing population, more needs to be done to serve our children of color.
Nonprofit organizations with culturally specific programs are most prepared to meet this need. Programs like Juntos Aprendemos at Latino Network and many other culturally specific programs across the state have a track record of supporting school readiness and family stability.
This bill will create an Early Childhood Equity Fund, dedicated to funding culturally specific early learning services. If the Oregon Legislature passes this bill, it will be an important step in closing the opportunity gap for our children of color.
2) Certified Early Childhood Community Education Worker
In the past two years, our Community Education Worker project has seen tremendous results! Today, people who work with young children – from child care providers to preschool teachers to home visitors like our CEWs – are increasingly recognized for their professionalism.
We know that training for these early learning providers is critically important. Past efforts, however, have focused on pushing early learning teachers to earn associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and certifications at community colleges.
These pathways are admirable, but they leave many professionals behind. Home visitors, community education workers, family advocates, and others don’t have a path for professionalization.
And for people of color or anyone who does not speak English, who face historical barriers in accessing higher education and career training, the difficulties are even greater.
This bill will create a certification program for Community Education Workers, modeled after the existing Oregon Traditional health Worker training program. This will ensure opportunities for professionalization while removing other barriers.
Want to learn more or submit a written testimony? Contact Sadie Feibel Holmes, Director of Early Childhood Programs.