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BOCA Minutes – Member Meeting 10/24/22

October 24, 2022 at 3:33 PM

Recording available for one month at:

Location of Meeting:

Virtual (GoToMeeting)

In Attendance:
Rebecca Compton (Dr. Day Care)
Joseph Tomchak (Boys & Girls Club Newport)
Tracy Martin-Turgeon (Cadence Academy)
Amy Vogel (Dr. Day Care)

Denise Greene (West End Community Center)
Eastside Early Learning Center
Joe Pinsonneault (Brown Fox Point)
John Kelvey (Children’s Workshop)
Marissa Gallagher (Hope St ELC)
Martha Lima (Early Foundation Academy)
Susan Rachette (Kinderdance and Fitness)
Lori Viner (Children’s Workshop)
Rosa Ribero (First Step Inc)
Carl Salvo (Apple Blossom)

Nicole Chiello, DHS

(other members joined after 3:38 who were not all recorded)


Guest Speaker: Nicole Chiello, DHS (new regulations, role changes in DHS)
Updates on Focus Groups (DLT grant, in partnership with Skills for Rhode Island’s Future)
Membership drive for 2023
Who do we want to hear from this year?
Update on Lobbying efforts and legislative priorities
Review future meeting dates & upcoming guest speakers

Meeting Notes:

  • Nicole – Role changes at DHS. Nicole is now the Assistant Director of the Office of Child Care (CCAP licensing, grant funding, quality initiatives). Sharon Fitzgerald is new CCAP Administrator
  • People have asked who will be in her former position – they “upgraded” her position so it is not vacant. She still oversees licensing. Sarah is still around as assistant.
  • New center regulations – long process to get them promulgated. Accidentally put in an old link to Safe Sleep, so had to re-promulgate them again. Almost ready, they should be effective as of Nov. 2nd. Will send update end of next week. New Guidance Document will be provided.
  • Joe – any key changes that will impact our centers?
  • Nicole – bigger changes to adapt to will be opening regulations to Teacher’s Aide at ages 16-17. Strong regulations around them (not alone with kids, can count in ratio, etc.). Many states allow for that “pipeline” in staffing child care, so will be similar.
  • Nicole – Asking for every new employee (within 90 days) to be CPR/First Aid certified. RI has been against federal mandate for a long time. No specific timeline yet for current employees to get it.
  • Amy – can CPR be online? Nicole – for initial, no. Recertification, yes.
  • Joe – will there be communication with Red Cross to prevent backlog? IE, centers attending together? Nicole – great idea, will look into it.
  • Nicole – also spent time to offer more clarification regarding compliance/non-compliance to make it clearer for licensor and providers.
  • Joe – during Christmas-New Year week, kids register but don’t always show up. If kids don’t come for 2+ weeks, not paid. If we don’t open that week, can we not bill? Nicole – centers should articulate that with DHS in advance.
  • Amy – have you received concerns regarding infants wearing jewelry? Nicole – no, there is nothing regulatory around infant jewelry. Tracy – can do it based on your preference. Amy – our accreditation, infants cannot wear jewelry. Nicole – not against regulations
  • Joe – any new regulations around summer/summer camps? Nicole – not in this iteration of the regulations. Had to get it through fast because there were things against our mandates. Wants to start planning for this soon. Hope to open them about every year or two.
  • Joe – update on Focus Groups:
    • Consultant is reaching out to about 20 other centers, in addition to BOCA members.
    • If you know anyone else who has struggled with staffing, please let us know.
  • CACFP update – if you have not offered CACFP meals, may be worth revisiting to get reimbursement. Pretty substantial. Flyer with info was sent over to us. Starts 12/7. Get 6 hours of CEs. Information here:
  • Amy – have to meet 25% threshold (for profit centers). We have discussed this with them in the past. Joe – he’ll email them to check.
  • Joe – Wants to start identifying pressing needs to share with lobbyist. What are your biggest pressing items? Historically Jan – June. Goal is 3-5 key issues to take on. Last year – changes in DHS reimbursement, accessing funds, resulted in child care reimbursement increases.
  • Denise Greene – greatest challenge now is they can’t afford to purchase health care for employees. Can we pool together as an association to get a discount? Amy – idea, can contact our present health care insurance representative and see if he has suggestions on organizations can bulk buy health care. Joe – curious if we can access funding to offset costs. Marisa Gallagher – DHS stakeholders meeting – person on the meeting that gave info about Health Source RI. Denise – still too expensive. If you offer it to one you have to offer to all (even part time employees). Amy – you don’t have to pay for Part Time, they pay for it. 30+ hours, you have to offer to them. Joe – recommends joining the Focus Group to bring this up.
  • Joe – mental health concerns – do we feel this is still a concern? John Kelvy – yes. And also feels it affects staff retention. Joe – Rick was working on this. If this is still a concern, he can continue working on it. Tracy – yes, feels it is still prevalent for both staff and children.
  • Amy – suggests always asking to increase DHS rates.
  • Who else do we want to hear from this year?
    • Nicole – CACFP? Give us tips on that. Or someone in social work services.
    • Amy – maybe EOHHS? What child care can obtain from their offices. To offer help.
    • Denise – someone who could give us a rundown of different foundations/funding opportunities for grant writing. Tracy – where to look for a grant, how to write a grant would be helpful.

Meeting ended at 4:30

Next meeting:


12/26– rescheduled to early Jan.

Minutes submitted by Rebecca Compton