Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Parent Advisory Group (PAG) Holds Productive Meeting

The newly established Parent Advisory Group (PAG) met for the first time last week in Seattle. The Washington State Department of Early Learning (DEL) has selected 17 parents to represent 10 regions as members of the group. The PAG will act as a sounding board for decisions, ideas and questions that shape the future of DEL and early learning programs throughout the state.

PAG members by Early Learning Region.

At the meeting, parents discussed topics including, but not limited to:
From the parents' perspective, the group determined what they would like to see happen in Washington for our state's littlest learners. PAG members are passionate about multiple early learning topics and expressed the need for:
  • More supports for children with special needs from the ages of three and five.
  • Increase quality and access to early learning opportunities across the different types of providers, starting at birth. 
  • Improved content in early learning settings. 
  • Cultural, special health care needs, promoting social emotional growth, so children have a strong foundation of healthy positive experiences before and throughout school. 
  • Supports for mental health, especially post-partum depression. There are services available for wealthy and low-income mothers, but not middle income. Provide access to all mothers who need support. 
  • Increased transparency and accessibility for state programs. Citizens understand what they’re paying for and there are no stigmas around accessing services. 
  • Access to quality care, no matter where you live in Washington. 
More was discussed during the day-long retreat in Seattle, and the PAG will continue to provide essential insight for DEL to produce strong, quality early learning initiatives in the future. Their next meeting is scheduled for early November.

No comments: