Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 106

03/16/2018 08:00 AM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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08:06:24 AM Start
08:06:24 AM Presentation: High Quality Early Care & Education
10:42:01 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
Joint with House EDC
+ Presentations: TELECONFERENCED
- High Quality Early Care & Education
- Early Childhood Partnerships, Engagement,
Innovation, & Investment
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
                         JOINT MEETING                                                                                        
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
      HOUSE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                     
                         March 16, 2018                                                                                         
                           8:04 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                              
 Representative Harriet Drummond, Chair                                                                                         
 Representative Justin Parish, Vice Chair                                                                                       
 Representative Ivy Spohnholz                                                                                                   
 Representative Jennifer Johnston                                                                                               
HOUSE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
 Representative Ivy Spohnholz, Chair                                                                                            
 Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                      
 Representative Jennifer Johnston                                                                                               
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                              
 Representative Tiffany Zulkosky                                                                                                
 Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                      
 Representative David Talerico                                                                                                  
 Representative Lora Reinbold (alternate)                                                                                       
 Representative Geran Tarr (alternate)                                                                                          
HOUSE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
 Representative Tiffany Zulkosky, Vice Chair                                                                                    
 Representative Sam Kito                                                                                                        
 Representative David Eastman                                                                                                   
 Representative Colleen Sullivan-Leonard                                                                                        
 Representative Matt Claman (alternate)                                                                                         
 Representative Dan Saddler (alternate)                                                                                         
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION: HIGH QUALITY EARLY CARE & EDUCATION                                                                               
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
SANA EFIRD, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                                 
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented an overview of Department of                                                                   
Education and Early Development Early Learning Programs.                                                                        
DUANE MAYES, Director                                                                                                           
Senior & Disabilities Service                                                                                                   
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced the presenters of the programs.                                                               
MAUREEN HARWOOD, Chief                                                                                                          
Developmental Programs                                                                                                          
Senior & Disabilities Service                                                                                                   
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented on Early Intervention/Infant                                                                   
Learning Program: Addressing Special Needs Populations.                                                                         
MONICA WINDOM, Director                                                                                                         
Division of Public Assistance                                                                                                   
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented on High Quality Early Care and                                                                 
STEPHANIE BERGLUND, CEO                                                                                                         
thread Alaska                                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented on the Thread program.                                                                         
TAMAR BEN-YOSEF, Executive Director                                                                                             
All Alaska Pediatric Partnership                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented on the Help Me Grow program.                                                                   
JIMAEL JOHNSON, Program Officer                                                                                                 
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (AMHTA)                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Presented  on the  Alaska  Mental  Health                                                             
TREVOR STORRS, Executive Director                                                                                               
Alaska Children's Trust                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Presented on  the Alaska  Children's Trust                                                             
role as funder of other organizations.                                                                                          
BRIAN HOLST                                                                                                                     
Juneau Economic Development Council (JEDC);                                                                                     
Juneau Board of Education;                                                                                                      
Alaska Early Childhood Coordinating Council                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as a member of JEDC.                                                                           
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:06:24 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HARRIET DRUMMOND  called the  joint meeting  of the  House                                                             
Education  Standing Committee  and  the House  Health and  Social                                                               
Services   Standing    Committee   to   order   at    8:04   a.m.                                                               
Representatives  Parish  [via teleconference],  Spohnholz,  Tarr,                                                               
Johnston, and Drummond were present at the call to order.                                                                       
^Presentation: High Quality Early Care & Education                                                                              
       Presentation: High Quality Early Care & Education                                                                    
8:06:24 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DRUMMOND  announced that the  only order of  business would                                                               
be a presentation on High Quality Early Care & Education.                                                                       
8:06:51 AM                                                                                                                    
SANA  EFIRD, Deputy  Commissioner,  Office  of the  Commissioner,                                                               
Department  of Education  and Early  Development  (DEED), gave  a                                                               
brief   overview  of   the  programs   in   the  early   learning                                                               
collaboration.   She specified the  presentation would  not cover                                                               
the federal title programs.                                                                                                     
MS. EFIRD  began the presentation  on slide 3, "Overview  of DEED                                                               
Early  Learning  Programs,"  which   read  as  follows  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
     DEED Funding Allocation                                                                                                    
     Head Start                                                                                                                 
     Best Beginnings                                                                                                            
     Parents as Teachers                                                                                                        
MS. EFIRD addressed  slide 4, "Allocation of  Deed Spending FY17"                                                               
showing  a total  of $9,837,600.   Of  the total,  Early Learning                                                               
Coordination  is  broken  out as  follows  [original  punctuation                                                               
          $6,857,700 Head Start                                                                                                 
          $500,000 Parents as Teachers                                                                                          
          $320,000 Best Beginnings                                                                                              
          $159,900 thread                                                                                                       
          Pre-Elementary Grants                                                                                                 
          $2,000,000 Pre-Elementary                                                                                             
8:10:45 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON asked  whether the  programs listed  are                                                               
all the  Head Start  programs in  the state  or only  those which                                                               
operate through DEED.                                                                                                         
MS.  EFIRD answered  there are  16 grantees  in the  state.   She                                                               
added it  does not include  the federal money that  goes directly                                                               
to the Head Start programs.                                                                                                     
CHAIR DRUMMOND  asked whether the  funds listed on the  slide are                                                               
state general funds (GF).                                                                                                       
MS. EFIRD answered in the affirmative.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR asked  whether the  money shown  is required                                                               
for a federal match.                                                                                                            
MS.  EFIRD answered  the federal  Head Start  program requires  a                                                               
non-federal match of 20 percent.                                                                                                
CHAIR  DRUMMOND   asked  whether   Title  I  programs   begin  at                                                               
MS. EFIRD said she would provide an answer.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON  added that  it  depends  on the  school                                                               
MS.  EFIRD said  that  in addition  to the  funds  listed in  the                                                               
slide, in FY 18 there was  also $1.2 million for Moore settlement                                                               
schools which was a continuation of funding.                                                                                    
8:13:29 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. EFIRD  advanced to slide  5, "Pre-Elementary," which  read as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
     Definition of Pre-Elementary and School Readiness                                                                          
     Alaska Statute  AS 14.07.020 defines  pre-elementary as                                                                    
     school for  children ages three  through five  years if                                                                    
     the school's primary function is educational.                                                                              
     DEED programs are  consistently working towards helping                                                                    
     young children become  "school ready." School readiness                                                                    
     describes both  the preparedness  of a child  and their                                                                    
     family  to   engage  in   and  benefit   from  learning                                                                    
     In  order to  best prepare  young children  for school,                                                                    
     families  and  community  service providers  must  work                                                                    
     collectively to  ensure that every  child is  ready for                                                                    
     higher engagement in learning                                                                                              
MS. EFIRD  moved to  slide 6,  "FY 17  to FY  18 Pre-Elementary".                                                               
The slide  showed 354  children ages 4-5  were served  through 11                                                               
school districts  in FY 17,  which expanded to over  700 children                                                               
in 18 school districts in FY 18.                                                                                                
CHAIR DRUMMOND asked whether it was due to the Moore settlement.                                                                
MS. EFIRD answered in the affirmative.                                                                                          
CHAIR DRUMMOND  asked whether  the $1.2  million was  specific to                                                               
the two fiscal years and would go away.                                                                                         
MS. EFIRD answered  it was a one-time continuation  for the Moore                                                               
settlement in FY  18.  She said the governor  has included it for                                                               
one more year for pre-elementary grants.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON asked for the breakdown of the funding.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE TARR suggested there  was the Moore settlement and                                                               
the legislature provided additional $2 million for Pre-K.                                                                       
MS.  EFIRD answered  the  total is  $3.2 million  in  funds -  $2                                                               
million plus the  $1.2 million for Moore  settlement schools that                                                               
was being continued in the governor's budget for FY19.                                                                          
MS. EFIRD  spoke to  how the  grants were being  used.   She said                                                               
developmental  grants were  being  used to  help districts  begin                                                               
pre-elementary programs.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR   surmised  the  process   involved  helping                                                               
programs  develop by  selecting a  handful of  districts, getting                                                               
them "up  and running" then move  on to the next  group of school                                                               
MS. EFIRD  answered that  is the  goal.  She  added that  not all                                                               
districts are ready or have the capacity to begin the program.                                                                  
8:17:58 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  EFIRD advanced  to  slide  7, "FY  17  Head Start",  showing                                                               
$49,317,560 total  funds going directly  to Head  Start programs.                                                               
Of  this, 84  percent is  federal  funding, 13  percent is  state                                                               
funding,  and  3 percent  (Other)  is  from Parents  as  Teachers                                                               
MS. EFIRD  addressed slide 8, "FY  17 Head Start by  the Numbers                                                                
which  shows 180  classes in  104 sites  serve around  3,152 Head                                                               
Start students ages 0-5.                                                                                                        
MS. EFIRD  continued to slide  9, "Measuring Growth".   She spoke                                                               
to Teaching  Strategies Gold as the  observational assessment for                                                               
children.  The  slide  showed  the  four  developmental  areas                                                                  
cognitive, language, literacy, and math.                                                                                        
MS. EFIRD advanced to slide  10, "FY17 Final Growth Data" showing                                                               
a  graph  for  fall  and  spring growth  for  each  of  the  four                                                               
8:21:16 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  EFIRD spoke  to  slide 11,  "FY 17  Best  Beginnings".   She                                                               
reiterated  the  funding  for  the  program  is  $320,000.    She                                                               
explained the  program focuses on  literacy skills  for children.                                                               
She  pointed  to  the  Imagination Library  and  how  reading  to                                                               
children can increase students  literacy  skills.   She commented                                                               
one of the best  things that can be done for  children is to read                                                               
to them.   She compared  speaking to  children with the  value of                                                               
adding vocabulary through  reading. She added that  35 percent of                                                               
Alaska children  are enrolled in  Imagination Library.   She said                                                               
231,887 Imagination  Library books were delivered  to families at                                                               
no cost  in FY17.   She  pointed out that  85 percent  of parents                                                               
reported that receiving Imagination  Library books increased that                                                               
time they spent reading with their child.                                                                                       
8:23:13 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. EFIRD moved to slide 12,  "FY 17 Parents as Teachers" showing                                                               
that 186  children were served in  FY 17. Of these,  81 were part                                                               
of  Rural CAP  (Haines, Kake,  and  Kodiak, Alaska),  55 were  in                                                               
Southeast  AEYC  (Juneau,  Alaska),  33  Kid's  Corp  (Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska), and 17 were in Sprout (Homer, Alaska).                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON asked  whether the  communities come  up                                                               
with interest then apply for the Parents as Teachers program.                                                                   
MS. EFIRD answered she believed  representatives from the program                                                               
would be presenting and may know the answer.                                                                                    
MS.  EFIRD advanced  to slide  13,  "thread -  Alaska Child  Care                                                               
Resource  and   Referral,"  which   read  as   follows  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
     Thread  provides  resources  and  referrals  for  early                                                                    
     learning throughout the state.                                                                                             
     They  have  been  successfully  providing  professional                                                                    
     development, including  coaching and training  for over                                                                    
     30 years.                                                                                                                  
     Thread  is partnering  with DEED  to establish  Learn &                                                                    
     Grow,  Alaska's  Quality  Recognition  and  Improvement                                                                    
     System (QRIS).  Learn & Grow provides  a framework with                                                                    
     quality  standards and  activities for  all early  care                                                                    
     and   learning   programs   to  help   those   programs                                                                    
     participate in continuous quality improvement.                                                                             
MS. EFIRD  said Learn and  Grow has already started  working with                                                               
child care  providers and Head  Start to begin  developing levels                                                               
of quality to move through the QRIS system.                                                                                     
8:25:55 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  asked about the programs  participating in                                                               
MS.  EFIRD  answered that  the  representatives  of the  programs                                                               
would address the issue.                                                                                                        
8:27:37 AM                                                                                                                    
DUANE MAYES, Director, Senior  & Disabilities Service, Department                                                               
of Health  and Social Services (DHSS),  introduced the presenters                                                               
of the  programs.  He  recognized Kristen Bradshaw,  president of                                                               
the Alaska  Infant Learning Program Association;  Jamael Johnson,                                                               
Program Officer  of the  Alaska Mental  Health Trust  (AMHT); and                                                               
Patrick Reinhart,  Executive Director  of the  Governor's Council                                                               
on Disabilities and Special Education.                                                                                          
8:29:22 AM                                                                                                                    
MAUREEN   HARWOOD,  Chief,   Developmental  Programs,   Senior  &                                                               
Disabilities Service,  Department of  Health and  Social Services                                                               
(DHSS),  presented  Early Intervention/Infant  Learning  Program:                                                               
Addressing Special Needs Populations.                                                                                           
MS. HARWOOD  addressed slide 16,  "What Services are  Required to                                                               
be Provided Under  IDEA Part C?" which read  as follows [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
        • Family Training                                                                                                       
        • Special Instruction                                                                                                   
        • Speech-language pathology and audiology services,                                                                     
          and sign language and cued language services                                                                          
        • Physical Therapy                                                                                                      
        • Occupational Therapy                                                                                                  
        • Psychological Services                                                                                                
        • Service Coordination Services                                                                                         
        • Medical Services   (only   for   diagnostic   or                                                                      
          evaluation purposes)                                                                                                  
MS. HARWOOD stated  the department and programs have  to find and                                                               
blend funding resources  as part of the mandate.   She said there                                                               
is federal money as well as state resources.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON asked  about  the  Office of  Children's                                                               
Services (OCS)  and the  risks and liability  of not  filling out                                                               
the proper paperwork.                                                                                                           
CHAIR DRUMMOND  asked whether  most funds  come from  Medicaid or                                                               
from private insurance.                                                                                                         
MS. HARWOOD answered that most  come through Medicaid.  She added                                                               
that many of the private  insurance [companies] don't pay for the                                                               
CHAIR DRUMMOND  spoke to the Anchorage,  Alaska, school district,                                                               
which she  said had  figured out it  could be  reimbursed through                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  asked about the new  Medicaid billing system                                                               
and whether the resulting crisis has been resolved.                                                                             
MS. HARWOOD answered  she would find the information.   She added                                                               
that the division  was going through a fiscal  assessment and was                                                               
reaching  out  to the  private  insurance  industry to  determine                                                               
whether it could be a resource.                                                                                                 
MS.  HARWOOD  advanced  to slide  18,  "Comprehensive  System  of                                                               
Personnel Development (CSPD)  Required under IDEA, Part  C".  She                                                               
said the  division competes with  school districts  for qualified                                                               
personnel.    Slide  18 read  as  follows  [original  punctuation                                                               
        • Our personnel standards for Early Intervention                                                                        
          Service providers were created  as one activity to                                                                    
          meet  our   requirement  under   Part  C   of  the                                                                    
          Individuals  with  Disabilities Education  Act  to                                                                    
          establish  and maintain  qualifications to  ensure                                                                    
          personnel necessary  to carry out Part  C Services                                                                    
          are  appropriately  and  adequately  prepared  and                                                                    
        • Who Provides Services?                                                                                                
          o Early Childhood Specialist Educators                                                                                
          o Occupational Therapists                                                                                             
          o Speech-Language Pathologists                                                                                        
          o Family Therapists                                                                                                   
          o Physical Therapists                                                                                                 
          o Vision Specialists                                                                                                  
          o Social Workers                                                                                                      
MS. HARWOOD addressed slide 19,  "How Many Providers in Alaska?,"                                                               
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
        • 124 Providers + contractors at local early                                                                            
          intervention agencies                                                                                                 
        • Nearly half of our providers hold master's                                                                            
          degrees in fields such  as Early Childhood Special                                                                    
          Education,  Speech-Language   Pathology,  Physical                                                                    
          Therapy,   Occupational   Therapy,   Communication                                                                    
          Disorders, and Social Work.                                                                                           
        • 5 providers hold doctorate degrees                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR asked about partnerships with the University                                                                
of Alaska.                                                                                                                      
8:39:37 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HARWOOD answered the division does partner with the                                                                         
University.  She added that there is never a delay in service as                                                                
there is not a payment source.                                                                                                  
CHAIR DRUMMOND asked whether the division works with the Alaska                                                                 
Commission on Post-Secondary Education for the training aspect.                                                                 
MS. HARWOOD answered she would get the information.                                                                             
8:42:13 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HARWOOD advanced to slide 20, "Part C to part B Transition                                                                  
Requirements," which read as follows [original punctuation                                                                      
     Part B is the over age 3 part (section) of the Special                                                                     
     Education law (Individuals with Disabilities Education                                                                     
     Act  IDEA)                                                                                                                 
        • Transition Plan: A transition plan must be                                                                            
          developed at  least 90  days and  not more  than 9                                                                    
          months prior to a child's 3rd birthday                                                                                
        • LEA Notification: Local Education Agency (LEA)                                                                        
          must be  notified that a potentially  eligible for                                                                    
          preschool  special  education   services  will  be                                                                    
          referred to the LEA                                                                                                   
        • Transition Conference: Transition conference must                                                                     
          be convened at  least 90 days and not  more than 9                                                                    
          months prior to a child's 3rd birthday                                                                                
MS. HARWOOD  informed that the  average time in  the program                                                                    
is actually 11 months.  She  stated one aspect of the law is                                                                    
moving children from  Part B to Part C, or  from the home or                                                                    
community-based setting to the  services that DEED provides.                                                                    
She said the databases speak to  one another and there is an                                                                    
automatic referral from which families can opt out. She                                                                         
said reporting to federal entities includes showing whether                                                                     
"the numbers match."                                                                                                            
8:44:47 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HARWOOD moved to slide 21, "Results Driven Accountability,"                                                                 
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
        • Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has                                                                       
          shifted its  primary emphasis  on compliance  to a                                                                    
          framework  that focuses  on  improved results  for                                                                    
          children  with  disabilities while  continuing  to                                                                    
          ensure States meet IDEA requirements.                                                                                 
        • States are required to a State Systemic                                                                               
          Improvement  Plan (SSIP)  as part  of their  State                                                                    
          Performance    Plan/Annual   Performance    Report                                                                    
MS. HARWOOD stated there are a number of reporting                                                                              
requirements including state and federal reports of growth                                                                      
targets and results.                                                                                                            
8:46:45 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HARWOOD spoke to slide 22, "State Systemic Improvement Plan                                                                 
(SSIP), which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                  
        • In developing, implementing, and evaluating the                                                                       
          SSIP, OSEP  expects States to focus  on innovation                                                                    
          in  the use  of  evidence-based  practices in  the                                                                    
          delivery    of   services    to   children    with                                                                    
          disabilities,   which   will  lead   to   improved                                                                    
        • States are required to identify a measurable                                                                          
          result  referred   to  as  the   State  Identified                                                                    
          Measurable Result (SIMR).                                                                                             
        • Alaska Part C's SIMR Statement: Alaska Part C's                                                                       
          infants  and  toddlers   with  show  greater  than                                                                    
          expected   growth    in   their   social-emotional                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON asked how the data is handled.                                                                          
MS. HARWOOD answered there is  an in-house data manager. She said                                                               
the division is  on the data committed for AECCC.   She added the                                                               
database is very specific to infant learning.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON  reiterated her  concerns about  risk and                                                               
liability with OCS. She said she  wonders whether the data can be                                                               
used for an application in order  to make data collection as easy                                                               
as possible.                                                                                                                    
MS. HARWOOD  answered she  was not  sure about  the status  of an                                                               
8:50:45 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  DRUMMOND commented  there  is a  workforce and  education-                                                               
related statistics program  and there is an effort  to expand the                                                               
memoranda  of  agreement between  the  Department  of Health  and                                                               
Social  Services   (DHSS),  Department   of  Labor   &  Workforce                                                               
Development (DLWD),  University of  Alaska, and  DEED.   She said                                                               
adding  Department of  Health and  Social Services  (DHSS) and  a                                                               
link  with  the  Alaska Commission  on  Post-Secondary  Education                                                               
would  be  crucial  for  a continuum  for  residents  from  early                                                               
childhood into the workplace.                                                                                                   
8:52:16 AM                                                                                                                    
MONICA   WINDOM,  Director,   Division   of  Public   Assistance,                                                               
Department  of Health  and Social  Services (DHSS),  presented on                                                               
High Quality Early  Care and Education.  She  addressed slide 24,                                                               
"High Quality  Early Care and  Education," which read  as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
        • Child Care Licensing                                                                                                  
        • Child Care Grant Program                                                                                              
      • Alaska Inclusive Child Care Program (Alaska IN!)                                                                        
        • Child Care Resource and Referral                                                                                      
MS. WINDOM explained the role of  Child Care Licensing.  She said                                                               
Child  Care   Licensing  does  two  inspections   of  child  care                                                               
facilities  each  year.   She  added  they  investigate  reports,                                                               
provide  technical   assistance  to   those  wishing   to  become                                                               
licenses, and offer ongoing support  to licensed providers.  They                                                               
work  with  DEED to  raise  awareness  on nutrition  and  healthy                                                               
snacks.  She added they help with Learn and Grow.                                                                               
CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ asked  about child  care  licensing and  whether                                                               
there have been changes in inspections.                                                                                         
MS. WINDOM said she would find the information.                                                                                 
CHAIR  DRUMMOND  requested  a  copy  of  the  statistics  in  the                                                               
MS.  WINDOM stated  a child  care facility  can have  up to  four                                                               
children without acquiring a license.                                                                                           
CHAIR  DRUMMOND  mentioned Ms.  Windom  had  said there  are  533                                                               
licensed  child  care  facilities  with  a  [total]  capacity  of                                                               
upwards of  17,000 children.   She  asked about  the ages  of the                                                               
MS. WINDOW answered child care  assistance is available up to age                                                               
CHAIR  DRUMMOND  asked  how  the  unlicensed  facilities  can  be                                                               
MS. WINDOM  answered she  could get  information about  the known                                                               
8:58:53 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WINDOW  said  participating  providers  can  get  a  monthly                                                               
reimbursement based on  child attendance - around $30  to $50 per                                                               
child - and on local cost of living.                                                                                            
CHAIR DRUMMOND asked whether the amount is per month.                                                                           
MS. WINDOM  answered in the  affirmative.  She  listed categories                                                               
of  allowable expenditures.    The child  care  provider must  be                                                               
licensed by the  state or municipality of  Anchorage, Alaska, and                                                               
participate in the Child Care Assistance Program.                                                                               
CHAIR DRUMMOND asked whether all  of the details fall under child                                                               
care licensing.                                                                                                                 
MS. WINDOM answered it is under the Child Care Program Office.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON asked  whether Anchorage, Alaska, numbers                                                               
are included.                                                                                                                   
MS. WINDOM answered she would check but that she believes so.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  asked whether  the Child Care  Grant Program                                                               
has to  be in  partnership with families  who are  also receiving                                                               
child care assistance.                                                                                                          
MS. WINDOM answered in the affirmative.                                                                                         
MS.  WINDOM described  the Alaska  Inclusive  Child Care  Program                                                               
(Alaska IN!).   She explained it helps by  increasing the quality                                                               
and  availability of  programs for  children with  special needs.                                                               
She said that in order to  be eligible for the program, the child                                                               
has to  be 12  or younger,  be diagnosed  with a  disability, and                                                               
participate  in the  child care  assistance program,  and receive                                                               
child care from  a provider who participates in  the program. She                                                               
added  that  currently,  there  are 10  children  in  8  families                                                               
participating in that program.                                                                                                  
MS.  WINDOM said  that DEED  works  very closely  with thread  to                                                               
identify  accommodation  and  training   specific  to  a  child's                                                               
special  needs. She  said the  Child Care  Resource and  Referral                                                               
provides  funding to  offer referral  services to  parents.   She                                                               
said the  purpose of the  Child Care  and Development Fund  is to                                                               
promote parental choice of child care services.                                                                                 
9:03:34 AM                                                                                                                    
STEPHANIE BERGLUND,  CEO, thread  Alaska, presented  a PowerPoint                                                               
on  the   thread  program  aims  and   initiatives  [included  in                                                               
committee packet].   She stated  she is a  member of AECCC.   She                                                               
shared the vision  of thread that all early care  and learning be                                                               
accessible,  affordable,  and high  quality.    She added  thread                                                               
houses two  programs   Learn  and Grow  and the System  for Early                                                               
Education and Development (SEED).                                                                                               
MS. BERGLUND presented  slide 3, "thread Connects  Early Care and                                                               
Learning to Alaska,  which read  as follows [original punctuation                                                               
        • Provide free early care and learning referrals to                                                                     
                  o Results in families being more informed                                                                     
                  o More families select early learning                                                                         
                    services that meet their needs                                                                              
        • Provide training, technical assistance, and                                                                           
          professional    coaching   to    early   childhood                                                                    
          educators/early care and learning classrooms                                                                          
                  o Results in greater skills and knowledge                                                                     
                  o Results   in    stronger   teacher/child                                                                    
                    interactions    which   supports    more                                                                    
                    positive outcomes for young children                                                                        
        • Provide leadership and partnership to help advance the                                                                
          early care and learning system                                                                                        
                  o Results in more efficient and effective                                                                     
MS. BERGLUND  moved to  slide 4, "DHSS  and DEED  Partnership and                                                               
Services,    which   read   as  follows   [original   punctuation                                                               
     We have a distinctive focus  on aligning the early care                                                                    
     and  learning system  for  more  positive outcomes  for                                                                    
     young children. This alignment  aims to increase access                                                                  
     to high quality early care and learning including:                                                                       
        • Expanding professional learning to all early                                                                          
          educators across the state following the Alaska                                                                       
          Early Learning Guidelines and the Early Care and                                                                      
          Learning Core Knowledge and Competencies                                                                              
        • Aligning Quality Standards for all early care and                                                                     
          learning environments/types through Learn & Grow,                                                                     
          Alaska's Quality Recognition and Improvement                                                                          
MS.  BERGLUND said  this includes  Head Start,  child care,  pre-                                                               
elementary,  early Head  Start, Military,  and tribal  child care                                                               
programs.   She said  that while  each of  those programs  may be                                                               
funded and regulated differently,  thread works to align services                                                               
and support for the professionals in all of those environments.                                                                 
MS.  BERGLUND  addressed  slide   5,  "Common  Goal  of  Healthy,                                                               
Successful Children".  She described  how Learn and Grow and SEED                                                               
work  together.    She  said that  children grow  and develop  in                                                               
relation to their caregivers in and outside the home.                                                                           
CHAIR  DRUMMOND  mentioned  the  list  of  child  care  providers                                                               
including the military.   She asked how many of  the children are                                                               
served by the military child care system.                                                                                       
MS. BERGLUND answered  she could provide that  information with a                                                               
breakdown by borough.                                                                                                           
9:09:01 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. BERGLUND advanced  to slide 6, "What is Learn  & Grow?" which                                                               
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
        • Quality Recognition & Improvement System (QRIS)                                                                       
        • QRIS is in 43 states. Includes quality standards                                                                      
          and activities for Child Care, Head Start/ Early                                                                      
          Head Start, State & Private Pre-K, and Licensed                                                                       
          School-age Programs                                                                                                   
        • Comprehensive continuous   quality   improvement                                                                      
        • Financial and educational supports to Early Care                                                                      
          and Learning programs                                                                                                 
        • Helps families to become better consumers of                                                                          
        • Promotes accountability for policy makers and                                                                         
        • Learn & Grow is voluntary                                                                                             
MS. BERGLUND said Learn and Grow  had been launched in July 2016.                                                               
She reiterated that quality early  learning has positive outcomes                                                               
for later success.   She said that QRIS is  defined nationally as                                                               
the method  to assess,  improve, and  communicate the  quality of                                                               
early care and  learning. She said there are  currently 43 states                                                               
operating within  the system  and it  is a  growing focus  of the                                                               
federal child  care and development  block grant and  is promoted                                                               
in  the federal  Head Start  standards. She  said Learn  and Grow                                                               
uses  active  subcommittee  groups with  representatives  of  the                                                               
field.   The system provides  the opportunity to bring  parity of                                                               
quality across all early learning types.                                                                                        
9:11:28 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. BERGLUND described the aims of  Learn and Grow.  She said the                                                               
program works  to ensure that parents  are actively participating                                                               
in their child's  development. She added that it  works to ensure                                                               
that communities  have a healthy and  sustainable workforce, that                                                               
early care and learning professional  earn a living wage and have                                                               
access  to  education, and  that  children  have access  to  high                                                               
quality early care and learning  environments that foster social,                                                               
emotional,  and   developmental  skills   to  prepare   them  for                                                               
kindergarten and success in life.                                                                                               
MS.  BERGLUND advanced  to  slide 7,  "Learn  & Grow  Framework,"                                                               
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
     Learn and Grow has 5 levels of program quality.                                                                            
          Level 1: Learning about higher quality                                                                                
          Level 2: Moving into higher quality                                                                                   
          Level 3: Committing to higher quality                                                                                 
          Level 4: Growing into higher quality                                                                                  
          Level 5: Thriving into higher quality                                                                                 
MS. BERGLUND listed the four quality domains within each level:                                                                 
        • Administration and Leadership                                                                                         
     • Staff Qualifications and Professional Development                                                                        
        • Learning Environment, Adult-Child Interactions &                                                                      
          Child Outcomes                                                                                                        
        • Family & Community Engagement                                                                                         
9:15:43 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. BERGLUND shared  a story from one of the  participants in the                                                               
program. The  story highlighted the  quality of training  for the                                                               
program.   The  testimonial stated  that encompassing  compassion                                                               
with professional growth has stabilized the program as a whole.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE   JOHNSTON  asked   about   a   regional  map   of                                                               
MS. BERGLUND answered she would  provide one.  She described some                                                               
of the participants.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON  asked how  long she has  participated in                                                               
MS. BERGLUND answered  she has been participating  in AECCC since                                                               
the beginning.  She said she thinks that is eight years.                                                                        
9:19:32 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON asked  whether Ms.  Berglund thinks  the                                                               
program has developed and gone beyond defining the approach.                                                                    
MS.  BERGLUND answered  that the  council has  seen growth.   She                                                               
underlined that AECCC is unfunded  and unstaffed.  She stated she                                                               
thinks there is more opportunity for growth.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON  said she  is always concerned  that with                                                               
an administrative  approach, the connection  is lost.   She said,                                                               
"let's not rush."                                                                                                               
CHAIR DRUMMOND said she thinks  [the council] was started with an                                                               
administrative  order under  the  Parnell administration  without                                                               
administrative support.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE   JOHNSTON   opined   there  tends   not   to   be                                                               
transformation when  there is a lot  of money and there  needs to                                                               
be "a nice balance."                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH asked what the legislature can do to help.                                                                
MS.  BERGLUND answered  that  building  in stronger  partnerships                                                               
through policy and  funding will help meet the  needs of children                                                               
in the program.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  asked what is  needed in terms  of funding                                                               
and what results would come from that funding.                                                                                  
MS.  BERGLUND said  funding  could aid  in  supporting the  early                                                               
learning  workforce.   She  said the  barriers  to the  workforce                                                               
include access to education and a  low wage.  She said supporting                                                               
the workforce with education and  compensation is important.  She                                                               
underlined the  importance of being  able to ensure  the services                                                               
provided are high quality and accessible.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  spoke to  an encounter  with a  child care                                                               
provider who  participates in QRIS  Learn and Grow.   After being                                                               
on level 1 for  some time, she was finally able  to move to level                                                               
2.   Then a member of  her staff left  to go work for  the school                                                               
district.   He asked  Ms. Berglund whether  she is  familiar with                                                               
Best  Starts program  and whether  she thinks  it can  work as  a                                                               
9:26:50 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BERGLUND answered  the committee  would hear  a presentation                                                               
about Best  Starts.   She said the  presentation would  cover how                                                               
professionals and programs are supported.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  asked about  the  funding  aspects and  how                                                               
incentives are provided.  She  asked whether the child care grant                                                               
can be used for Learn and Grow.                                                                                                 
MS. BERGLUND  said that before  Learn and Grow was  in existence,                                                               
the  Child  Care Grant  Program  was  the only  specific  support                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH asked  about scholarship  participation in                                                               
the  programs  as  well  as  other  financial  opportunities  for                                                               
MS. BERGLUND  answered there are  built-in supports such  as free                                                               
training  and scholarships.    She added  there  is an  incentive                                                               
award after Level 2 is reached.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH asked whether it is a one-time incentive.                                                                 
MS. BERGLUND answered it is an annual incentive support.                                                                        
9:31:36 AM                                                                                                                    
TAMAR  BEN-YOSEF,   Executive  Director,  All   Alaska  Pediatric                                                               
Partnership, presented a  PowerPoint on the Help  Me Grow program                                                               
[included in  committee packet].   She  described the  All Alaska                                                               
Pediatric  Partnership.   She spoke  to the  Help Me  Grow Alaska                                                               
program.   She  said  Help  Me Grow  is  a  system that  connects                                                               
children and  families with  the services they  need.   She added                                                               
the  program  had been  identified  by  AECCC Healthy  Start  and                                                               
Strengthen Families  subcommittee as  a priority  initiative. She                                                               
spoke  to  the  Strengthen  Families  protective  factors.    She                                                               
explained  the  two guiding  philosophies  of  Help Me  Grow  are                                                               
universal developmental screening  and the Strengthening Families                                                               
framework.   She said the first  few years of a  child's life are                                                               
crucial to later  success.  Help Me Grow  identifies potential or                                                               
existing behavioral  or developmental issues,  intervening early,                                                               
and helping families to thrive.                                                                                                 
9:35:46 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. BEN-YOSEF spoke to slide 4,  "There are NO wrong doors".  She                                                               
described the  process whereby  parents, child  health providers,                                                               
and child  care providers and  other caregivers can go  through a                                                               
Help Me Grow  call center to access  community-based services and                                                               
supports for all  children and their families such  as early care                                                               
and  education,  child  health, early  intervention,  and  family                                                               
support. Help  Me grow  works with the  family until  their needs                                                               
are met.   She  relayed other  states with  Help Me  Grow systems                                                               
have reported  seven points  of contact  with families  before an                                                               
issue is  resolved.   She stressed  that the Help Me Grow program                                                               
empowers parents to  be active and engaged  participants in their                                                               
child's development.                                                                                                            
MS.  BEN-YOSEF  advanced  to   slide  6,  "Development  Screening                                                               
Priority."    She  said  Help   Me  Grow  sees  the  developments                                                               
screening tool as  an opportunity to engage with  families and as                                                               
a tool  to identify  any concerns.   She shared  an example  of a                                                               
child in  Kodiak, Alaska,  who was  diagnosed with  fetal alcohol                                                               
spectrum disorder  (FASD).   The family was  referred to  Help Me                                                               
Grow to learn more about the child's needs and development.                                                                     
9:40:39 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. BEN-YOSEF returned  to slide 5, "The Four  Core Components of                                                               
Help  Me Grow".  The four  components were  as follows  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
     Centralized Access Point                                                                                                   
     Family and Community Outreach                                                                                              
     Child Health Provider Outreach                                                                                             
     Data Collection and Analysis                                                                                               
MS.  BEN-YOSEF advanced  to slide  7,  "Centralized Phone  Access                                                               
Point": to  connect children and  their families to  services and                                                               
care  coordination.   The call  center is  the "go-to"  place for                                                               
families, child  health care  providers, and  other professionals                                                               
seeking information,  support, and referrals for  children.  Call                                                               
center  staff   are  trained  in  telephone   casework,  cultural                                                               
sensitivity,  and   child  development.    Call   centers  use  a                                                               
computerized resource directory  and an automated client-tracking                                                               
9:42:01 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. BEN-YOSEF moved to slide  8, "Data Collection & Analysis": to                                                               
understand  all aspects  of the  Help Me  Grow system,  including                                                               
gaps and  barriers.   Call centers  are in  a unique  position to                                                               
collect data  that reflect system-level issues    information not                                                               
only on who  calls and why, but also on  what happens to families                                                               
seeking  help.  This  includes  identification  of  gaps  in  and                                                               
barriers  to services.  Data collection  also includes  gathering                                                               
information on  how well the  other components of the  HMG system                                                               
are operating.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON asked  whether  the  data collection  is                                                               
voluntary  and whether  it only  includes families  and providers                                                               
who are working with Help Me Grow.                                                                                              
MS.  BEN-YOSEF  answered the  license  used  to collect  data  is                                                               
through the infant learning program.   She added that data can be                                                               
combined  through partnership  with other  agencies.   She stated                                                               
the goal  is to have a  comprehensive picture of the  children in                                                               
MS. BEN-YOSEF advanced to slide  9, "Family & Community Outreach"                                                               
to promote  Help Me  Grow and  bolster healthy  child development                                                               
through  families. A  community presence  encourages support  for                                                               
and  participation   in  the  Help   Me  Grow  system.   It  also                                                               
facilitates  the  building of  a  robust  resource directory  and                                                               
helps  keep  the  directory  up-to-date.  Outreach  staff  engage                                                               
families  by participating  in  community  meetings, forums,  and                                                               
fairs, and  facilitating sessions that help  families learn about                                                               
child development  and the role of  Help Me Grow.   She explained                                                               
that  the   outreach  component   is  contracted  with   a  local                                                               
corporation as  the "face on the  ground" for Help Me  Grow.  She                                                               
added that  Help Me Grow  is collaborating with ECCS  program and                                                               
the upcoming  Child and Family  Developmental Services  Clinic to                                                               
integrate  outreach with  programs on  the ground  in communities                                                               
such  as  the community  health  aid  and behavioral  health  aid                                                               
programs and their curriculums.                                                                                                 
CHAIR DRUMMOND asked what ECCS means.                                                                                           
MS.  BEN-YOSEF  answered  Early Childhood  Comprehensive  Systems                                                               
(ECCS)  is one  of  the  programs under  the  Division of  Public                                                               
Health.    She added  that  ECCS  program has  three  place-based                                                               
communities (Kodiak, Norton  Sound, and Mat-Su) which  each has a                                                               
community  coordinator who  is  also the  Help  Me Grow  outreach                                                               
liaison.   She  added the  developmental clinic  has a  structure                                                               
with 4 regional teams with nurse  case managers who in turn serve                                                               
as outreach coordinators for Help Me Grow.                                                                                      
CHAIR  DRUMMOND   suggested  linking   with  the   workforce  and                                                               
education statistics program which follows outcomes.                                                                            
MS.  BEN-YOSEF  advanced  to slide  10,  "Child  Health  Provider                                                               
Outreach"  to support  developmental promotion,  early detection,                                                               
and intervention.   Help Me Grow staff  conduct targeted outreach                                                               
to  child health  care providers  through office-based  education                                                               
and training. Trainings help providers:                                                                                         
     1. Conduct developmental surveillance and screening of                                                                     
        children from birth to age five;                                                                                        
     2. Use the call center; and                                                                                                
     3. Systematize surveillance and screening and the use                                                                      
        of Help Me Grow in their practices.                                                                                     
9:48:30 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. BEN-YOSEF advanced  to slide 11, "Partnership are  Key".  She                                                               
said Help Me  Grow is looking for technology  that can streamline                                                               
the  process  and  connect  organizations.    She  spoke  to  the                                                               
outreach  partnership with  ECCS  and  the developmental  clinic.                                                               
She  added  they  are  working with  the  Governor's  Council  on                                                               
Disabilities  and Special  Education and  the leadership  team is                                                               
comprised  of cross-sector  partners,  many of  whom  sit on  the                                                               
AECCC.   She added that  the All Alaska Pediatric  Partnership is                                                               
actively  advocating  for  more empowered  leadership  for  early                                                               
childhood   through  the   AECCC   in  order   to  maximize   the                                                               
effectiveness of  current programs  and align  new ones  with the                                                               
coordinated state plan.                                                                                                         
CHAIR DRUMMOND asked  whether all of the  pediatricians in Alaska                                                               
recognize the critical nature of the issue.                                                                                     
MS. BEN-YOSEF  answered that the  short answer  is no.   She said                                                               
the partnership  started under the  children's hospital  in 1995.                                                               
As  the  needs were  recognized,  it  evolved  into a  space  for                                                               
collaboration  with anyone  who  works with  children across  the                                                               
state.    She  added  they  provide  education  to  pediatricians                                                               
through a  yearly conference and  through monthly meetings.   She                                                               
stated  the meetings  serve as  an opportunity  to learn  what is                                                               
happening  in  communities around  the  state.   She  highlighted                                                               
engagement  is also  through emails.   She  added the  example of                                                               
Bethel, Alaska, which now has  an unofficial coalition.  She said                                                               
there is some funding through DHSS.   She said Help Me Grow would                                                               
certainly expand the reach of the partnership.                                                                                  
CHAIR  DRUMMOND  remarked  the   Bethel  practitioners  serve  50                                                               
MS.  BEN-YOSEF said  the  infant learning  program  in Bethel  is                                                               
understaffed and the positions are hard  to fill.  She added that                                                               
the  organization is  currently  funded  through blended  funding                                                               
with private and  public money, and it hopes  to expand statewide                                                               
once additional funding is obtained.                                                                                            
9:55:20 AM                                                                                                                    
JIMAEL  JOHNSON,  Program  Officer, Alaska  Mental  Health  Trust                                                               
Authority  (AMHT), presented  on the  Alaska Mental  Health Trust                                                               
role as funder for other organizations.                                                                                         
9:56:40 AM                                                                                                                    
TREVOR  STORRS,  Executive  Director,  Alaska  Children's  Trust,                                                               
presented on the Alaska Children's  Trust role as funder of other                                                               
organizations.   He said  Alaska's Children's  Trust is  a direct                                                               
member of AECCC.                                                                                                                
MS.  JOHNSON  spoke   to  the  mission  of  AMHT.     She  listed                                                               
beneficiaries   of   the   trust.    She   mentioned   the   many                                                               
collaborations between  programs and  departments.  She  spoke to                                                               
why early  childhood education  is important to  the Trust.   She                                                               
remarked the Trust  is able to use Alaska data  to illustrate how                                                               
beneficiaries are  formed by  their early  childhood experiences.                                                               
She  mentioned  the  return on  investment  for  early  childhood                                                               
intervention.   She said the  initiatives include Bring  the Kids                                                               
Home and the Alaska Resilience Initiative.                                                                                      
10:02:43 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. STORRS said  the Alaska Children's Trust's (ACT)  focus is on                                                               
prevention of childhood  abuse and neglect.  He  said ACT strives                                                               
to  look at  the  whole  child, the  whole  family and,  whenever                                                               
possible, the whole  community.   He spoke  to collaboration with                                                               
organizations and communities to  foster relationships across the                                                               
state.  He said the  science of early childhood brain development                                                               
must be  applied for better  outcomes.   He mentioned the  use of                                                               
new  and innovative  methodologies.   He added  ACT has  invested                                                               
over $5 million  in organizations to support  programs across the                                                               
10:05:28 AM                                                                                                                   
MS.  JOHNSON said  AMHT  emphasizes its  support  of the  state's                                                               
current  efforts.   She  said  the  Trust  looks forward  to  the                                                               
opportunity to engage with  legislators, commissioners, and other                                                               
stakeholders.   She  said  as funders  and  conveners, AMHT  sees                                                               
great opportunity  to build  on the  current momentum.  She added                                                               
that  the  leadership  of  AECCC  would  guide  and  support  the                                                               
programs  mentioned  in  the  presentations  and  would  move  to                                                               
improve outcomes.                                                                                                               
10:07:05 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TARR asked about funding support.                                                                                
MS.  JOHNSON answered  there  have  been community  organizations                                                               
looking  for resources.    She  mentioned non-monetary  resources                                                               
such as technical assistance to look at other funding streams.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  asked  how  many  people  qualify  as  AMHT                                                               
beneficiaries in the state.                                                                                                     
MS. JOHNSON answered about 100,000  experience mental illness, of                                                               
whom about  22,000 experience  severe, often  debilitating mental                                                               
illness;  12,000 traumatic  brain injury;  7,000 Alzheimer's;  in                                                               
the  age range  12-17, 2,100  illicit drug  dependence or  abuse,                                                               
1,500 alcohol  dependence or abuse.  For ages 9-17,  5,500 severe                                                               
emotional   disturbance;  17,500   overall   with  illicit   drug                                                               
dependence or abuse; overall 44,000  alcohol dependence or abuse;                                                               
just  under   12,000  with   developmental  disabilities.     She                                                               
underlined some of the numbers may be duplicated.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE TARR asked where Alaska ranks among other states.                                                                
MS. JOHNSON said she would find the information.                                                                                
CHAIR DRUMMOND  said she appreciates  the comments  about seeking                                                               
direction and partnership with AECCC.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE TARR asked whether  there were things to highlight                                                               
in the mental health budget.                                                                                                    
MS. JOHNSON said she would research and provide recommendations.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  spoke to  the nationwide change  of the                                                               
role  in   providing  services  from  government   to  non-profit                                                               
organizations.  She shared a  personal family experience with the                                                               
programs.    She said  she  appreciates  that public  nurses  are                                                               
focusing in on the  zero to six age group.   She mentioned that a                                                               
lot  of connections  are  taking place  and asked  to  hear on  a                                                               
yearly basis from the AECCC about progress.                                                                                     
10:17:56 AM                                                                                                                   
BRIAN HOLST,  Juneau Economic Development Council  (JEDC); Juneau                                                               
Board of Education; Alaska  Early Childhood Coordinating Council,                                                               
testified in  his capacity as member  of JEDC.  He  said the JEDC                                                               
focuses  on,  amongst  other  aspects  of  economic  development,                                                               
talent  development.    He  said  that focus  has  lead  them  to                                                               
understand  the  importance of  early  education.   He  listed  a                                                               
series  of challenges  faced by  residents such  as high  cost of                                                               
living.   He spoke to  structured collaboration.  He  said Alaska                                                               
ranks low  in early childhood  education.  He indicated  there is                                                               
slow progress. He  said the five largest school  districts in the                                                               
state have identified Pre-K education  as a priority, even though                                                               
they  don't have  funding for  it.   He  said 70  percent of  the                                                               
nation's  non-working poor  are not  working due  to the  cost of                                                               
child care.                                                                                                                     
10:24:00 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  HOLST spoke  to  policy in  King  County, Washington,  where                                                               
residents have voted  to tax themselves to  fund early education.                                                               
He said the  City and Borough of Juneau, Alaska,  has funded some                                                               
Pre-K initiatives and programs to  support retention. He spoke to                                                               
AECCC.  He  said more local figures  and business representatives                                                               
need to be  a part of the group.   He stated in 1940,  1 in every                                                               
10 households had  both parents working, now about 7  in every 10                                                               
households has  both parents working.   He said it costs  more to                                                               
participate in  childcare in Juneau,  Alaska, than to  attend the                                                               
University of Alaska - Southeast.   He said jobs are changing and                                                               
require more training  and education.  He said  low investment in                                                               
education has  impacts.  He  said the U.S.  is not keeping  up in                                                               
standardized  testing  and  innovation.    He  said  early  child                                                               
education reduces abuse and crime  and increases earnings and tax                                                               
MR. HOLST said  that making small improvements  can have lifetime                                                               
impacts.   He  said for  a world-class  workforce, a  world-class                                                               
education  system is  needed.    He spoke  to  a Federal  Reserve                                                               
conference  in  which returns  on  investment  for education  and                                                               
health were examined.  He  quoted Director of Research Art Rolnik                                                               
of   the  Federal   Reserve  Bank   of  Minneapolis   as  saying,                                                               
 Investment in  early childhood development programs  brings real                                                               
total return, public  and private, of 16 percent.  We are unaware                                                               
of any other  economic development effort that has  such a public                                                               
return."  He  said  the  return  on investment  is  why  JEDC  is                                                               
focusing  on early  childhood development.  He said,  "It's about                                                               
the economy."                                                                                                                   
10:31:00 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TARR opined that  spending more in early education                                                               
would result  in savings in  corrections in  the long term.   She                                                               
suggested  the  base student  allocation  (BSA)  of $6,000  is  a                                                               
fraction of the cost of funding corrections.                                                                                    
CHAIR DRUMMOND said  she thinks what the state spends  on all the                                                               
preschool opportunities is  roughly $4,000 per child  but is only                                                               
serving roughly 25 percent of the  children in the programs.  She                                                               
referenced HB  52 and said it  has a fiscal note  of $51 million.                                                               
She suggested  if the states spent  a little bit more  now on the                                                               
young ones, it would not need to spend it on them later.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH asked  how much it would cost  per child to                                                               
achieve the benefits through the Best Start program.                                                                            
MR.  HOLST  responded  the  cost  in Year  1  would  be  $800,000                                                               
investment to  make 400 kids  kindergarten-ready. In Year  5, 800                                                               
children [indisc]  for a $2.4  million-dollar investment.   There                                                               
would be  a need to  leverage other  investments out there.   The                                                               
Juneau School District has a  Pre-K program in every building. He                                                               
referenced a Head Start program  for free in the school district.                                                               
He   added  the   board   is  trying   to   find  resources   for                                                               
transportation  to support  them.  By adding  a  small amount  of                                                               
resources, the programs can be made more helpful.                                                                               
10:37:03 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  DRUMMOND  remarked  the  Anchorage,  Alaska  has  a  large                                                               
investment on  public school buildings  and is offering  space to                                                               
private  pre-school  programs.    She mentioned  a  drop  in  the                                                               
student population.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH said  he thought it seems  $2,000 per child                                                               
in the  first year and  about $3,000 per  child a few  years down                                                               
the line was the answer to his question.                                                                                        
MR. HOLST  answered in the affirmative.   He said the  formula is                                                               
somewhat  complicated  because as  the  quality  of the  programs                                                               
improves, the programs can receive incentives.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH shared his  appreciation of the Best Starts                                                               
program.    He stated  the  private  sector  is bearing  a  large                                                               
portion  of the  burden  of  child care.    He  said a  step-wise                                                               
progression  backed up  by some  source  of state  dollars is  an                                                               
"impeccable  investment.    He shared  a concern  that government                                                               
dollars might be  going to private businesses.  He  asked how Mr.                                                               
Holst would answer that concern.                                                                                                
MR.  HOLST answered  he  did  not share  the  concern.   He  gave                                                               
examples  of   infrastructure  that  allows  for   a  functioning                                                               
society.   He  said tapping  into the  entrepreneurial spirit  is                                                               
important, but  that child  care is  a poor  business model.   He                                                               
said some people  are not making money at all.  He suggested that                                                               
with proper support the business model can be improved.                                                                         
10:42:01 AM                                                                                                                   
There being no further business before the committees, the Joint                                                                
House Education Standing Committee and House Health and Social                                                                  
Services Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 10:42 a.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
DAY 3 Early Childhood DEED-DHSS Final 3-12-18.pdf HHSS 3/16/2018 8:00:00 AM
Help Me Grow Presentation EC Hearing 3.16.18.pdf HHSS 3/16/2018 8:00:00 AM
Statewide Systems - LG and SEED (003).pdf HHSS 3/16/2018 8:00:00 AM
thread early childhood presentation 3.15.2018.pdf HHSS 3/16/2018 8:00:00 AM