May Newsletter

Advocating Policy Change to Help All Kids Succeed

Since the start of Bright Beginnings we’ve always talked about community level change and systems change happening together, that’s why we have the Policy Advocacy Network of Bright Beginnings.  

Come learn about and contribute to an emerging policy platform under development by local policy champions including those participating in the Women's Policy Institute. The next Policy Advocacy Network meeting objectives include mapping short, medium and long term goals for our county, including exploring how to develop potential revenue sources for early childhood and developing language to include in city and county plans for children.  

Join us for this critical discussion that will help shape systems for our families and children in Monterey County.

WHAT: Bright Beginnings' Policy Advocacy Network Meeting

WHEN: June 3, 2016 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm PST

WHERE: First 5 Monterey County Office 
1125 Baldwin Street
Salinas, CA 93906

If you are interested in participating, please use the button below to RSVP. If you are unable to join in person, please contact Karen Gorman,, for a teleconference number.
RSVP Policy Advocacy Network Meeting
We are looking forward to continuing to learn, share, and collaborate with our communities. To learn more about Bright Beginnings, visit our website here

Read on for more announcements, upcoming events, webinars, and trainings from Bright Beginnings and our partners! We're curious about what trainings you would like to see in the future; click here to answer our quick poll!

Stay up-to-date on the latest news and upcoming events by connecting with Bright Beginnings on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Funding for Child Care: Support Quality

From Children Now

Over the next few days the state’s policymakers will decide whether to increase funding to allow children greater access to much-needed quality child care programs. These programs are critical to supporting the healthy growth and development of babies and toddlers and working families.

Your help is needed TODAY! Please call:
  • California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon 
| (916) 319-2063
  • Senator Pro Tem Kevin de León | 
(916) 651-4024
Tell them that you are “calling to express support for the Legislative Women's Caucus's budget request regarding child care.”

Your organization also has the chance to sign onto the support letter.

Early Learning and the State Budget

From the First 5 Association

On Friday, May 13 Governor Jerry Brown released the May Revision to his proposed 2016-17 state budget. Lower than anticipated revenues resulted in General Fund spending of $122.2 billion, more than $400 million below the Administration's January proposal. Governor Brown continues to stress fiscal caution and frames his proposal in the context of the pending expiration of Prop 30 income tax increases, efforts to build the state's rainy day fund and an inevitable downturn in the economy.  

For a summary of key provisions in the Governor's revised budget, visit the California Budget and Policy Center's website here.

Early Learning Block Grant Proposal

The May Revision details the Administration's January proposal to consolidate early education funding into a block grant that would support subsidized preschool for certain four-year-olds. The Governor proposes to implement the block grant in 2017-18 - one year later than originally planned - with TK eliminated as of July 1, 2017. Initial block grant funding would be set at $1.6 billion, which represents no significant additional investment in early learning programs. The Governor's revised budget also includes $20 million in Proposition 98 funds (of which $10 million would be ongoing) to assist County Offices of Education (COEs) with the transition to the new block grant.

For more details on the block grant:

  • Early Education Block Grant Trailer Bill and Budget Language summary.
  • Early Education Block Grant Bill language.

Senate Takes Action on Block Grant Proposal

The Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Committee voted on Wednesday, May 18 to reject the Governor's early education block grant proposal. You can see the Committee agenda with specific proposals here - staff recommendations were approved as proposed. The Assembly also previously rejected the Governor's block grant proposal. Combined these actions mean that the Governor's proposal as presented in the May Revise will not be part of the budget process. To be clear, other early education proposals, which may include an alternative block grant proposal or other reform package, may still appear in the final budget once negotiated.


State Budget Next Steps

The Assembly and Senate will continue reviewing the May Revision and move toward finalizing their versions of the budget in subcommittee hearings. Both the Assembly and Senate may submit their own early education proposals for consideration. In addition, the Legislative Women's Caucus continues to ask for an $800 million increased investment in child care programs.

A coalition of early education advocacy organizations, including the First 5 Association, have sent budget leadership a letter advocating for significant investment in the state's early learning and care system, as well as a recommendation that any reforms to the system take place outside of the budget process with sufficient time to thoughtfully address significant policy changes.

Once each house completes its budget, a legislative conference committee will meet to resolve any differences. Each house will then vote on a final budget and if adopted it will be sent to the Governor for approval. The Legislature must approve a budget by June 15.

Collaborative Action Team Spotlight 

Pajaro and Salinas


Dialogues are happening all over the county about how to support children and families. The Pajaro and Salinas Collaborative Action Teams have invited parents to use art to tell the story of how they access services for their children around early literacy. If our children are the flowers of our community, then what support do they need to help them grow? Where can they access their ‘sun’, ‘rain’, and ‘soil’? Through creatively telling their story through art, parents are able to construct a ‘garden’ that tells the narrative of the strengths and challenges of accessing services in Monterey County. Their stories are being collected to further examine what strategies and activities can come forward.

Bright Beginnings looks forward to providing further support, technical assistance, and capacity building activities to bolster community goals. If you have any questions, please contact Nina Alcaraz,

Upcoming Webinars

The list below includes a few upcoming early childhood development related webinars that are hosted by several of our partners. 

The Power of Optimism: Helping Early Child Educators See the Best in Themselves, Their Students and Their World
By Steve Gross
June 8, 2016 at 2:00pm EST 

“Mean” Behavior and Aggression in Early Childhood: The Origins of Bullying
By Kristen Darling-Churchill
October 26, 2016 at 2:00pm EST 

Professionalizing Early Childhood Education: Your Role in the Next Era
By Stacie Goffin
November 30, 2016 at 2:00pm EST 

Upcoming Bright Beginnings' Training

Google Drive

Bright Beginnings' Google Drive Hands-On Training
July 20, 2016 from 9:00am - 10:30am PST
Harden Foundation Bunkhouse

For more upcoming events, trainings, and meetings please view our Bright Beginnings' Calendar here.

We're Curious

What capacity building trainings would you like to see Bright Beginnings offer in the future?

Public Speaking

Resources and Tools

Click below for interesting tools, information on previous Bright Beginnings' trainings, and resources related to early childhood development.

First Book: Free Book Drive
Apply using the link above for free books

Bright Beginnings' Google Training Webinar
April 21, 2016
If you weren't able to join our webinar, you can listen to the
recording here. 

Bright Beginnings' Communications Tools Training
May 13, 2016
If you weren't able to join us for this training, you can view the
slides here

Bright Beginnings' Spokesperson + Media Training
May 20, 2016
If you weren't able to join us for this training, you can view the
slides here
Bright Beginnings is an opportunity for the community as a whole to work together to ensure that young children, from the prenatal stage through age 8, have what they need to succeed. Bright Beginnings aims to maximize community efforts to improve early childhood development outcomes through effective coordination, capacity building, empowerment and strategic action for children and their families.  Bright Beginnings invites all communities in Monterey County to actively engage in supporting early childhood development.   

Copyright © 2016 Bright Beginnings, All rights reserved.

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