BOCA logo circle white

BOCA minutes – member meeting March 25, 2024 at 1:00 PM

Location of Meeting:

Virtual (GoToMeeting – available for one month):

In Attendance:

Rebecca Compton Dr. Day Care
Amy Vogel Dr. Day Care
Haley Paige Coggeshall Club/Haven Middletown

Guests & Members:
Heidi Nordmann
Marissa Gallagher
Denise Greene
Lisa Hildebrand
Rick McAulliffe
Marinel Russo
Missy Davis
Monique Rossi
(members attending after meeting began were not recorded)

Meeting Agenda:

Welcome and introductions
Grant update: send any questions to Maria Fruci, BOCA Grant Manager / Director Rhode Island Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs
Guest speaker: Lisa Hildebrand, Executive Director, Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children (RIAEYC)
3 programs that end this year that impact employees:

  • Pandemic Retention Bonuses
  • Child Care WAGE$ Salary Supplement for Credentialed Staff
  • CCAP for Child Care Educators

SkillsRI / PrepareRI is looking for businesses to host summer interns (at no cost to the business, intern is paid $15/hour). If interested, sign up by 3/29/24:
Caci Gleason, Associate Director of Client Services, 401-680-7652,
Priorities for the year – handout that details our focus for 2024 and beyond
Upcoming meeting dates (date suggestions for May meeting?)
Member questions and discussion

Meeting Notes:

  • Amy started the meeting at 1:02 pm
  • Lisa Hildebrand – RIAEYC.
    • Many early childhood programs have taken advantage of are ending soon. Encourage legislation to continue them.
    • 3 compensation initiatives during the pandemic that will end this summer.
    • Child Care Step Up to WAGE$ program (allowing 273 early educators to receive salary supplements based on education level). Started with Federal funds, piloted in 2023.
    • Pandemic Retention Bonuses (started with stimulus money), rewarding $ to early childhood educators who have stayed in their program.
    • In the House now (H 7251, S 2038) – Early Educator Compensation Stabilization Act. Haven’t had hearing in House yet, did in the Senate. Hopefully will in the next few weeks.
    • CCAP for Childcare Educators (to receive free childcare if working in childcare). Received money in the budget last year at last minute to start the pilot. Without the General Assembly continuing the pilot, it will also end (H 7123, S 2344).
    • Really worried about what will happen if these are discontinued. Really need your help. RIght from the Start just created an action list. Put in your name & physical address and it sends a message to your senator, rep, and the governor. Legislators track how many of these messages they receive.
      • If you can have staff and/or families submit this too, it can help!
    • Will have hearings in the coming weeks. Always looking for people to submit written testimony or come to a meeting.
      • Could use directors or program leaders to submit testimony (maybe BOCA rep?) to record video saying how it has helped their staff
    • Strolling Thunder event – in person at State House on May 9th. Advocacy event beforehand (at Marriot at noon).
    • It is all about visibility – showing how we come together to make an impact.
    • Postcards are coming out soon, for families or staff to fill out and send.
    • Rick – thinks the breakdown of priorities has been helpful. Tries to supplement what they do. Agrees that stories are important. You have students with connections to legislators or influential people – it is important for them to hear from you! If you have somebody and aren’t sure how to reach out, feel free to call Mayforth Group and/or Lisa for advice on what to see.  Really need to be strong and have a concerted effort this year.
    • Lisa – when they bring a teacher or parent to a hearing, it makes a big impact. Senate hearing last week, we brought around 100 letters from early educators and that was a good visual.
    • Amy – helps when everyone has the same wording.
  • Lisa – BrightStars update – during pandemic, stopped requiring renewals.
    • Need to start to get back on a schedule. The steering and advisory committee is allowing programs time to come back. Will give programs about 18 months for them to retain current rating, if something has changed.BS navigator will walk you through the process. Will start with programs that were due to renew first and go from there. Will also begin tracking/collecting data again to get a sense of where everyone is. Can better see where they need to provide additional support/funding. Information will come out very shortly. Shout out to Amy & Haley who are on the BrightStars Advisory Committee.
  • Amy – went over SkillsRI/PrepareRI intern program
  • Rick – went over legislation updates
    • Budget – at the end of April they will be calling DHS to find out what is going on in terms of caseload and where we are, then make an estimation.
    • Had meetings with legislators and with DHS (Nicole Chiello) to go over the new workforce registry (RISES)
    • Found and got confirmed that CCAP population in RI is very low, lower than expected. Less people taking advantage of opportunities for early childhood education. Plan on having meetings with the Speaker and Senate President (probably around end of May).
    • Still working on fingerprint bill.
    • Hearings this week as well
  • Amy went over Priorities flyer – will be emailed to members, please share!
  • Amy – met with Nicole workforce registry (RISES)
    • Haley – it would be helpful if all papers could go there, it’s about 50/50 now
    • Haley – glad there’s less excess log ins for people to remember
    • Amy – eventually licensing should go on there
  • May meeting – late May / early June – May is important month, legislatively
  • Meeting ended at 1:36pm

Next meetings:

April 22, 2024
May 2024 – TBD
June 24, 2024
Skipping July & August
September 23, 2024
October 28, 2024
November 25, 2024
Skipping December

Minutes submitted by Rebecca Compton