Thursday, March 3, 2022

Besides working hard to stay on top of COVID requirements and safety measures, and recover from the impact of the pandemic on our ability to work safely—including families' slow return to group child care, and the great resignation, making teacher availability lower than ever across ECE and K12—the uncertain impact of Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is one of the most talked about topics among Early Care Educators of San Francisco (ECESF) who work at FCC and center sites.
While the ECESF community wholly supports public funding for universal 0-5 care for all children and families who need or want it—we do not see a solution coming from funding one sector while insufficiently funding the workforce and programs where most children in child care and education are currently served: community-based center and Family Child Care sites. Nor do we see a solution in addressing preschool without a simultaneous focus on 0-3 care and education, including reimbursement levels that address the need for parity pay and benefits for the 0-3 ECE workforce that is currently the lowest paid, yet requires equivalent levels of knowledge and experience. See ECESF's principles.

The impact of insufficient funds to community programs (see the study below on the ongoing too low reimbursement rates) combined with the increased need for a TK workforce will leave community-based programs unstable, and with a higher turnover and greater lack of teachers than is currently being experienced. The ripple effect stressing current educators will further increase turnover. Increasing 4-year-old ECE service within public schools removes an important funding source, which currently stabilizes community care and education, and funds the higher (necessarily more labor-intensive) cost of 0-3 care and education.

Instead, a comprehensive approach lifting both public and community-based programs, both 0-3 early care and education and preschool, and including transitional kindergarten as part of an inclusive system of early care and education, will increase needed ECE offerings and move us toward universal early care and education for all. 
What is being done to address these concerns?
Senator Leyva introduced SB976 in communication with statewide advocates (including ECESF) concerned about the consequences of TK. Read the press release, fact sheet, and draft language below.

Impact of TK and reforms on teacher credentials and requirements
This newsletter also includes information, resources, and offerings for input through surveys and public input sessions to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). While the opportunity to reform teacher requirements—pushed along in preparation for TK, could be promising, many concerns about current proposals have been raised in ECESF and broader ECE community conversations. We invite you to review the ECESF community concerns (more detailed list here) as you reflect on your own experiences and offer input through the survey and input sessions below.
Community concerns shared include educational qualification requirement discussions being uncoupled from the need to raise compensation and reimbursements first (without addressing the wholes in the workforce bucket it will continue to leak), separating care from learning with a stress on “academics” that misunderstands early learning, Eurocentric focus of TPEs, and Commission on Teacher Credentialing documentations actively promoting taking staff from CSPP, "Moving to full implementation of universal TK ... it would be appropriate to draw from the ranks of Child Development Permit (CDP) holders who are currently teaching 4-year-olds in the California State Preschool Program (CSPP)" without recognizing the destabilization this will cause in light of the inadequate funding for compensation across sectors. 
Do you share the concerns, have different ones? We’d love to hear from you,

In community,
Sara & Anna
Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK)
Senate Bill 976 Will Offer Much-Needed Flexibility for Families to Access Transitional Kindergarten for Their Children

In February 2022, Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) introduced legislation, SB 976, that establishes universal preschool in California. Specifically, SB 976 ensures that parents have the option to send their children to a public elementary school provider or a community-based childcare provider (including FCCs, private centers, Title 22 centers, etc.) to benefit from universal preschool.

Child Care Provider Reimbursement Rates Still DO NOT Meet The Full Cost of Care

In a new research brief, CCRC found that child care provider rates lag behind inflation and the true cost of running a child care business, despite the recent rates increase effective January 1st.
The child care field is seeking additional investment in this year's State Budget to stabilize the system, mitigate further losses to the provider workforce, and preserve access to child care options. This request is supported by the latest guidance from the federal Office of the Administration for Children & Families (ACF).
PK-3 ECE Specialist Credential TPEs Survey

The Master Plan for Early Learning and Care called for the creation of a Pre-Kindergarten through Third Grade (PK-3) early childhood education (ECE) teaching credential. With the upcoming implementation of Universal Pre-Kindergarten (including Transitional Kindergarten expansion), California has an urgent need for additional early childhood teachers who can staff the expected influx of young learners into the education system. To help meet this unprecedented need and support implementation of the Master Plan, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) is proposing to reframe the current Early Childhood Specialist Credential as a new PK-3 ECE Specialist Credential that would be available to individuals interested in teaching PK-3 (3-year-olds through grade 3).

As part of this development, a new set of Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs) for the proposed PK-3 ECE Specialist Credential has been drafted. The TPEs describe the knowledge, skills, and abilities expected of a beginning PK-3 early childhood teacher on their first day on the job in PK-3 classrooms and settings. The TPEs will be presented to the Commission at an upcoming Commission meeting for their consideration and potential adoption. 

A public input survey on the draft PK-3 ECE Specialist TPEs will remain open through Friday, March 11, 2022. Complete the survey here.
ECE practitioners, Multiple Subject teachers, ECE faculty at institutions of higher education, ECE administrators, K-8 school administrators, members of ECE-related organizations, groups, and entities, and all other interested community members are encouraged to respond to the TPEs survey so that this work can benefit from a wide range of public input.
Focus Group Input Sessions for the PK-3 ECE Specialist Credential Work

Join the CTC PK-3 ECE Specialist Credential TPEs Focus Group Input Sessions. This is in addition to the survey link above. A series of focus group sessions will be held during early March 2022 to gather public input regarding the work to establish the PK-3 ECE Specialist Credential. 

Topics to be covered during the focus group sessions will include the proposed requirements for this credential, as well as pathways and options for different types of candidates to earn the PK-3 ECE Specialist Credential.

The list below provides the focus group public input session dates, times, and registration links:

  • Friday, March 4 from 12–1 p.m. Registration link here.
  • Monday, March 7 from 6–7 p.m. Registration link here.
  • Wednesday, March 9 from 5–6 p.m. Registration link here.

Please contact for any questions regarding the focus groups, survey or work related to the PK-3 ECE Specialist credential.
Apply To Be An Assessor For The
Early Childhood Education CalTPA Pilot Test

Establishing UPK has significant implications for the California State Preschool Program (CSPP) and the Commission’s Child Development Permit system that credentials staff who work in CSPP. The Commission heard recommendations from a Child Development Permit Advisory Panel in 2017 regarding needed changes in the permit structure and requirements, but deferred taking action on these recommendations given lack of consensus in the field at that time. In the interim, staff worked with the field to develop ECE Teaching Performance Expectations and Program Guidelines focused on improving preparation of the ECE Workforce. These Performance Expectations and Program Guidelines were adopted by the Commission in 2019.
Now California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) is accepting applications for assessors to assist with the scoring of the Pilot Test submissions of the Early Childhood Education California Teacher Performance Assessment (ECE CalTPA). They are especially in need of ECE practitioners at the Teacher permit level. 
The ECE CalTPA pilot is for the ECE Teaching Performance Expectations that were developed in 2017-2019. They are getting ready to pilot the assessment process for how ECE teachers will demonstrate their competencies in the TPEs. They are looking for assessors to be trained in the rubrics, to help analyze submissions, and then to give feedback. Assessors will be compensated for their work. Next year they plan to field test them.  
To submit your interest in becoming an assessor for this important work, please respond to the ECE CalTPA Assessor Application.
If you have additional questions, please contact Cassandra Henderson at
For more information, feel free to watch a previous webinar on CalTPA (1 hour).
The Universal Pre-Kindergarten Planning and Implementation Guidance – Volume 1

The California Department of Education (CDE) released a guidance to help introduce local educational agency (LEA) leaders to Universal PreKindergarten (UPK) and early education concepts, research, resources, programs, partnership opportunities, and policies.

The California UPK Planning and Implementation Guidance – Volume 1 is meant to support LEAs in the development of their UPK Plan. Under state law, the plan must be developed for consideration by the LEA’s governing board or body at a public meeting on or before June 30, 2022 (EC Section 8281.5).

CDE plans to circulate further guidance later this spring that will help support UPK planning and implementation. For questions regarding this guidance document, please submit to
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ECESF receives funding from the Office of Early Care and Education to provide field building and peer supports to early care educators, as well as generous donations and in-kind contributions to build our advocacy and community work from individual early care educators, and allies, community organizations and agencies. Support our work. Donate!