BOCA logo circle white

BOCA minutes – member meeting 11/28/22

November 28, 2022 at 3:33 PM

Recording available for one month at:

Location of Meeting:

Virtual (GoToMeeting)

In Attendance:


Joseph Tomchak (Boys & Girls Club Newport)

Tracy Martin-Turgeon (Cadence Academy)

Rebecca Compton (Dr. Day Care)

Amy Vogel (Dr. Day Care)


Kayla Rosen, Director of Early Childhood Strategy, Governor’s Office


Marissa Gallagher (Hope St ELC)

Andrea Engle (YMCA Pawtucket)

Jen/Melissa West End

Joe Pinsonneault (Brown Fox Point)

Lori Viner (Children’s Workshop)

Susan Racette

Tracey Brown


(other members joined after 3:40 who were not all recorded)



Guest Speaker: Kayla Rosen, Director of Early Childhood Strategy, Governor’s Office (discussing the LearnERS initiative, SUCCESS, pandemic retention bonus, planning work related to early childhood mental health, and answering member questions)

Updates on Focus Groups (DLT grant, in partnership with Skills for Rhode Island’s Future)

Commerce RI looking into regulations – anyone have suggestions for review?

2023 meeting dates (next meeting is 1/23/23 with members, keeping same schedule for meetings – no meeting in July, August and December)

Meetings in March, June, & Sept. will be in person

Who do we want to hear from next year?

Update on Lobbying efforts and legislative priorities

Meeting Notes:

  • Kayla Rosen introduced herself (
  • Planning work underway:
    • FY23 Budget
    • RI PreK Expansion Report – goal to develop growth plan over 5 years (to 5,000 seats), include 3- & 4-year-olds
    • Governor’s Workforce Board – focus on pathways into the workforce
      • Amy Vogel – helping with getting awareness about early childhood. There have been 2 meetings so far
    • Early Childhood Governance Working Group – looking at recommendations regarding governance of early childhood programs. What is the problem we’re trying to solve?
    • Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Planning – legislation passed for EOHHS to develop screenings, mental health support, supporting people who work with kids, responding to intergenerational effects of racism, economic insecurity, and toxic stress that influence the health & mental health of caregivers 
      • Huge undertaking, first meeting – 150 people, on zoom.
      • Due by June 2023
    • All meetings are open to public – if you want to attend, feel free to email Kayla for more info.
  • Current opportunities:
    • LearnERS – RIAEYC is leading
    • SUCCESS – provides access to mental health supports – Bradley is leading
    • Pandemic Educator Retention Bonus – DHS is leading
  • Open for questions/comments:
    • Joe Pinsonneault – need to increase wages (not just bonuses). Pandemic relief will go away. How are we going to pay our staff? How do we attract & keep people in the field? It is about money. Head Start is paid higher, we don’t have that. What about programs not doing universal PreK? Need to focus on a living wage to keep teachers in this field.
    • Kayla – agrees. National problem that we continue to think of every day. Did apply for PEG federal grant. 1 year. Agreed, PreK receives attention but need to include infant/toddler.
    • Joe Tomchak – BOCA also represents School Age, any other focus on School Age opportunities or things coming up?
    • Kayla – focuses on 0-5 so doesn’t know school age as well. RIDE has school-based grants. RIDE and EOHHS could help more. Out of School Time (United Way) has new leader.
    • Andrea Engle – anyone else finding retention bonuses, over half of staff didn’t apply because of taxes for next year. Tried to educate staff about it, but staff still don’t want to deal with it. Anyone else having staff with same attitude? Lori Viner – hasn’t had tax concerns, but concerns with having to pay the bonus back if they leave early. Kayla – interested to hear if that’s a significant problem across the board. Joe P – might be helpful if you have the option to pay for the taxes taken out, like unemployment.
  • Focus Groups:
    • Joe T – 22 of 40 signed in, please join one if you have not yet.
    • Focus group checks and gift cards will be coming soon, sent from Skills RI
  • Commerce RI looking for feedback on regulations that need updates
    • Joe T – fire marshal different interpretations
    • Andrea – deficiencies on things that are ok for schools, but we need to fix for out of school time, can be difficult to get the schools to fix.
    • Joe P – across the board – every year we get a new licensor and things that not been cited for years now need to be changed. Same thing for fire marshal. Needs to be continuity of transition of new people. Spoke to Nicole about this already.
  • Reviewed upcoming meeting dates
    • Jan. looking to have Rick from Mayforth Group

Meeting ended at 4:18pm

Next meeting:

January 23, 2023

February 27, 2023

March 27, 2023 – in person

Minutes submitted by Rebecca Compton