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BOCA minutes – member meeting October 30, 2023 at 2:00 PM

Location of Meeting:

Virtual (GoToMeeting):

In Attendance:

Rebecca Compton Dr. Day Care
Amy Vogel Dr. Day Care
Joseph Tomchak Boys & Girls Club Newport
Lori Viner Children’s Workshop

Members and guests:
Monique Rossi Boys & Girls ClubWarwick
Rebecca Madden Acorn Academy
Carl Salvo Apple Blossom
Zarhary Handleman Boys & Girls Club East Providence
Heidi Nordmann East Bay Community Action Program
Karin Kavanagh Boys & Girls Club Warwick
Tara Rego Little Scholars
Bobby Open Beach in Warwick

Meeting began at 1:02PM

Meeting Notes:

  • Members introduced themselves
  • Looking for board member – email if interested, BOCA
  • Joe went over briefly the update
  • Rep. Shallcross Smith went over briefly her role at State House.
  • Questions and responses:
    • Amy – CCAP rates at a higher reimbursement rate? Is that an agenda item?
    • Mary Ann – she thinks so,
    • Joe – child care subsidizes for staff, any legislation around it becoming permanent?
    • Rick – during ARPA, a lot of money was invested in child care. It was a 2 year program. Fiscal year ended Sept. 30th. Push by people including President Biden for funding to stabilize the industry. Probably won’t happen in next few months, but maybe early next year.  Advocates everyone on this call draft a letter in support of more money going into the industry. Childcare is an economic need, without child care workers will have to stay home. Goal with the budget, locally, is to ask for more money to have the resources to open more classrooms.
    • Joe – follow up question, the retention bonus – should the funding not pass, will the current round be the last one? Rick – yes. Joe – they may pass a continuation? If they do, would it still keep going? Rick – funded at last year’s level, the money was spent, would need new money. Suggests this: what do we do to convince the Governor? Letter writing campaign to have all of us and our employees on the need for increased wages.
    • Joe – there have been staff who have had the opportunity to participate in a pilot to get child care reimbursement at no cost. Where did that funding come from?
    • Rick – modeled after what worked in Kentucky, free child care for employees in child care. That will be legislation next year. Feels very strongly that it will get good support this year.
    • Mary Ann – they’re collecting the data now. Had a convo with the Speaker about the 300% cap cutting people off. 
    • Amy clarified the info on the DHS child care subsidy. 1 year pilot program. Ends June 30th.
    • Rick – will have a draft letter. Wants to get an idea of what level of support will be available from the Chambers (meeting with them soon)
    • Mary Ann – feels people overwhelm with too much info. Whatever BOCA wants to focus on – keep it down to 1-3 Bills. Very confusing as a Representative what the message is.
    • Joe – something that came up with his team. Biden passed tuition reimbursement for educators. Rick – great idea, we’re seeing similar problems in nursing homes, schools, other occupations where there is just not enough people.
    •  Rick – will draft a letter that we can send to Governor to get more retention $. Our effort needs to be convincing the Governor.
    • Mary Ann – onboarding new child care employees update – trying to get fingerprints done at no cost for child care employees. Thinks it will pass next year. Worked with Liz Tanner to overcome obstacles to getting onboarded in childcare. Working on the 108 & 109 to remove the requirement for it to be Notarized. If you think of any other part of the process that should be changed, please reach out.
    • Rick – if you have a child in your center who’s parent is someone that would be helpful, reach out to them. Let them know what is impacting your business. Letter from that person saying importance of having child care would be helpful.
    • Carl – question about CCAP vouchers. Joe – suggested checking out the Pilot program.
    • Amy – child care pilot if removing the 300%
    • Tara – losing families to the PreK lottery, down about 10 students. Hears about increasing the lottery numbers. Where do we think they’ll place these children?
    • Amy – sees the same thing. They are looking to expand it from 4 years old to 3 years. Maybe try over enrolling for fall, if think they’ll lose kids?
  • Suggestions on priorities for next year:
    • CCAP rates
    • Retention bonuses
    • Tuition/education reimbursement if working in the field
    • Child care educators DHS pilot program

Meeting adjourned at 2:44pm

Next meeting:

November 27, 2023

(skipping Dec)

Minutes submitted by Rebecca Compton