Making a Difference for Children

by Dr. Marian Fritzemeier, Ed.D. © 2015

“Would you like to join the council?” asks the council chair.

“Thanks for the invite, but I’m still visiting. I’m on medical leave this year from the College. I’m going back to work next fall,” I explain.

But that didn’t happen. My health deteriorated and I was put on Disability/Retirement. With that major life change came countless disappointments and struggles alongside blessings and joy.

The Council. The Stanislaus Child Development Local Planning Council (SCDLPC) is both a blessing and a joy. This is my fourth year serving alongside a 16 member group appointed by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors and the Stanislaus County Superintendent of Schools. This group meets monthly and is comprised of:

 Child Care Providers,

 Community Representatives,

 Consumers of Child Care Services (Parents/Guardians), and

 Public Agency Representatives.

Mission Statement: “The Stanislaus Child Development Local Planning Council shall provide leadership in supporting the development and availability of child care for children in Stanislaus County.”

Second Term. Since my husband and I moved back to Modesto, the SCDLPC was a terrific way to connect with people who are concerned about children. I’m starting the 1st year of my 2nd three-year term as a community representative. The council has 13 responsibilities. This forum identifies local priorities for child care services; develops policies that meet those needs; and then prepares a countywide child care plan.

Wait List. Very popular with parents is the centralized eligibility child care wait list. In the past, every site managed a child care wait list. Now, parents call the Resource and Referral office. The staff helps them find available child care matching the parents’ needs. If the desired programs are full, they are placed on a consolidated wait list that serves the entire county.

Parents Needed. Parents are a vital component of the council. Parents or individuals who have used child care in the past 36 months, are eligible to serve as a Consumer of Child Care Services representative. Currently, the council has 2 openings. If you want more information, please contact me or use the links below.

Professional Development. As a former child development professor, my favorite council responsibility is improving the retention of qualified child care workers who work directly with children either in a Title 5 or state-subsidized program. We provide stipends for continued education, from earning an AA degree through a master’s degree. We also select and offer workshops that child care staff can use to meet the 105 professional growth hours required every five years.

NEW! Transitional Kindergarten Teachers. I’m excited about a new program the council’s overseeing. With the implementation of Transitional Kindergarten (TK), TK teachers hired after July 1, 2015 are required to obtain 24 early childhood education units by 2020. The SCDLPC is helping teachers locate appropriate early childhood or child development courses and manage the brand new reimbursement program. Though units are required, teachers do not bear the burden of costs. TK teachers can be reimbursed for books and courses when they earn a “C” or better. And what good teacher would earn less than that.

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Recognition Certificate Presented in June 2015 for Serving on the SCDLPC.

Thankful for Collaboration. As I begin my fourth year serving on the SCDLPC I’m thankful for such a wonderful opportunity. I consider it a privilege to collaborate with such a diverse group representing a variety of organizations.

Because of the networking through SCDLPC the county’s received several grants that required collaboration. I miss being part of the college community, so being a part of the SCDLPC is truly a joy and blessing for me.

To learn more about SCDLPC go to www.stancoe.org/cfs/lpc/welcome.htm. To access the two- page application, go to www.stancoe.org/cfs/lpc/documents/SCDLPC Membership.

 

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