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Racial Equity Early Childhood Provider Council

Racial Equity Early Childhood Provider Council

Most early childhood education providers in Philadelphia are women of color, making child care a vital economic sector in a city desperate to retain successful businesses and create safe spaces for young children. But too often, Black, Hispanic, and Asian providers are left out of the conversation when it comes to developing the quality regulations, hiring practices, and curriculum appropriate for children of color.

Children First launched the Racial Equity Early Childhood Provider Council to remedy this egregious oversight. The Council is working to ensure that racial equity is embedded in all aspects of child care quality improvement such as program development, business development, and the definition of quality.

The makeup of the Council is 90% women, 80% Black providers, and another 10% other providers of color. It has representation from a variety of providers – center-based, family-based, group family-based, and school-based – and all types of funding streams and quality ratings. It’s a very solid and intentional foundation on which to build future success.

“Even though we know how much value child care brings to the community and the economy, it’s still often dismissed as babysitting,” said Stephanie Blake, Ed.D, Early Childhood Racial Equity Coordinator. “Members of the Council are building their platform and empowering the sector to be its best.”

THE EARLY CHILDHOOD PROVIDER COUNCIL WILL:

  1. Create a shared definition of program quality for Philadelphia providers.
  2. Identify solutions that address the policy and operational systems gaps found in the Philadelphia’s Early Learning Community Speaks Out: An Action Plan for Quality Improvement report.
  3. Create an organization model that will ensure that the Council remains diverse, representative of all provider types, and becomes self-sustaining over time.
  4. Give input and guidance into the design and operation of the quality improvement systems contracted by the state and city.

The Council has created subcommittees that allow providers to get hands-on with the work of building the group into a strong and influential organization. Subcommittees address topics like business development, engaging parents and families, independence planning for the Council, and racial equity.

Contact Dr. Stephanie Blake for more information and how to get involved at stephanieb at childrenfirstpa dot org.