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  • September 05, 2014 1:46 PM | Loreta Pittman (Administrator)

    Economic Impact Study

    DECAL had commissioned a second Economic Impact Study which will be distributed via survey to centers in the next thirty days.  This survey will ask for financial information from centers.  It is important for full participation because the collective information from this study is a tremendous help to all advocacy efforts.  We cannot approach legislators without numbers, this helps us appear more relevant and validate our requests for funding.  Please make sure all your centers participate.  The Early Education Industry is one of the largest industries in Georgia, please help support our efforts with data.

  • September 05, 2014 1:45 PM | Loreta Pittman (Administrator)

    CAPS

    GCCA is working with a large advocacy contingent to develop strategies to increase provider subsidy base market rates. We are in the process of quantifying costs for increasing the market rate survey.  Additionally, several members of the GCCA board and Executive staff have been actively involved on the CAPS task force for the past year to provide valuable input into much needed system reform around parent and provider touch points including caseworker communication, certificate termination and parent eligibility. Many of the suggestions are in process, while others will be implemented over the next 18 months.

  • September 05, 2014 1:44 PM | Loreta Pittman (Administrator)

    Georgia Pre-K

    FY ’14 DECAL gave back over $7M in funding at year end.  We will be asking why this happened but are assuming this is from low roster counts and programs turned back in.  There are less 4 year olds moving through pipeline due to recession.  Pre-K is still funded for 22 per classroom and a total of 84,000 students.  GCCA is looking at the shift of Pre-K classrooms from private to public sector as well as funding for both operations and assistant teacher salaries.  We will provide you with our update and strategy to address this growing concern shortly.

    We have met with the House Budget Office in July and will continue to meet with the Senate Budget Office and Office of Planning and Budget to discuss the need for Pre-K funding formula revision to support center operations.

    GCCA is a partner with Voices for Georgia’s Children for Pre-K Week again this year which is 10/6-10/10.  Centers across the state will be asked invite legislators in to visit their classrooms and educate them about the importance of Georgia Pre-k and the investment in our youngest learners!  Look for your centers involvement shortly!

  • September 03, 2014 1:42 PM | Loreta Pittman (Administrator)

    Child Care Licensing

    GCCA has been working on a DECAL task force to define enforcement processes and philosophies which will result in the creation of a violation enforcement chart that would take away the subjectivity for fines and enforcement actions by the department.  Additionally the group has voted to change how current transportation trigger rules are treated more severely than other violations.  The new chart will look at a center’s history of violations for that specific rule and the class of harm, from low to extreme imminent danger when accessing penalties. Centers will essentially get credit for past clean history. DECAL will begin modifying their approach to transportation citations by October.


    ASTM- Playground standards:  GCCA has been working with DECAL on a case that has come to light over the spring/summer to ensure that DECAL REVERSED a decision to make playgrounds compliant to the now- current ASTM standards, requiring playgrounds to close or retrofit.  ASTM is a voluntary standard for manufacturing, with any true defect that would endanger children resulting in a product recall.  DECAL’s initial citation and decision to close an $8000 playground would have set a very costly precedent for the state.  The GCCA worked with ASTM, playground manufacturers and DECAL to ensure that the department understood the complexity of these “ voluntary” standards and  that retrofitting of current playgrounds was not required under ASTM guidelines.


    Watchful Oversight”- The GCCA will be working with DECAL on defining this term more closely as well as supervision.


    Exempt Programs: GCCA has continued to ask DECAL to limit exemptions to licensing.  DECAL has been visiting exempt summer camps and is in process of entering data.   Exemption call project started a year ago in which they embarked upon calling approximately 5200 paper files and total 7600 programs to update their outdated database.  They have now asked all programs to reapply under new 2012 exemption rules.  This project is in the final stages and is the first time DECAL will have access and ability to communicate with all programs! 

    DECAL has had much transition of staff, including a restructure of a new commissioner, and direct reports.  We have been told that Interim Commissioner Amy Jacobs is an “interim” commissioner, but that could potentially change. We will keep you posted.  We are working on submitting our suggestions for a commissioner that would be provider friendly.

  • September 02, 2014 1:41 PM | Loreta Pittman (Administrator)

    IMPORTANT UPDATE!!

    DECAL has made significant improvements to the annual renewal process for QR.  This new process will go into effect mid- October.  This update will dramatically reduce paperwork and also include a quality improvement grant.  If any of your centers are in process to submit a renewal, WAIT until October, because you cannot use the new process if you submit prior.  Ask for an extension and sight that you are waiting for the new October process.  

  • September 02, 2014 1:39 PM | Loreta Pittman (Administrator)

    Quality Rated

    Georgia won $51.7 M in the Early Learning Challenge Fund grant which will be administered over a four year grant period.  There are many components of this grant, with a primary focus of a broad expansion of Quality Rated.  DECAL has proposed in the grant that all centers involved in receiving Pre-K monies, subsidy or food program will need to be participating in QR.  The GCCA is working with DECAL to define what “participation” means.  Currently centers that are non-compliant cannot participate so the stakes are very high.   We will be meeting and asking to assemble provider focus groups to further discuss the implication of their execution of this, including a proposed  “no-star” center .   For more information on the Early Challenge Fund Grant


    Currently, there are 1300 programs participating in QR with the goal of 1755 by year end.


    GCCA has met with DECAL on a QR marketing work group to add valuable input to improve the level of provider marketing support received from the department.  Both collateral and social media improvements were suggested which should be implemented in the fall. 


    Another grant component is the operation of “Economic Empowerment Zones” (Ez3’s) which are four specific zones to be determined by DECAL in Sept. These areas will gain preferred tax advantages and align additional support for businesses operating early care learning centers which care for a high percentage of at risk child population.  This process has already been underway and is wrapping up as we speak.

  • September 13, 2013 11:55 AM | Carolyn Salvador (Administrator)

    The GCCA is working with DECAL to review upcoming proposed regulations aimed at specifying the number of days that a provisional employee will have to submit a fingerprint record check to the agency.  The 21 day suggestion by GCCA has been adopted thus far by DECAL and will be put forth in public hearings beginning on Sept 30th, Oct 1st and Oct. 2nd.

     

    A provisional employee may not begin work until they have a clear GCIC background check.  Once cleared, under the proposed regulation they will then be given 21 days on the job to submit all necessary paperwork to DECAL.   Based upon the "determination" that will be returned  to both the employer and the employee, they will be able to continue to be employed as a regular/permanent employee or they must be terminated immediately.

     

    To note, on GCIC searches if a teacher has a criminal record in another state, that check will be returned with a code that states they are a multi-state offender.  It will not state what that offense is but this would signal to a potential employer that you would need to review their record for other crimes.

     

     

  • August 05, 2013 9:56 AM | Raeann Tighe (Administrator)


    The Clark-Vinson Leadership Award was established by the Georgia Child Care Association (GCCA) to honor the contributions and dedication to the child care industry made by Cliff and Diane Clark of Discovery Point Franchising and by Pat and Janice Vinson of Kids 'R' Kids International.

    Many of GCCA's legislative accomplishments over the past several years have been made possible through the generous support of the Vinsons and the Clarks.

    The Clark-Vinson award will be presented each year at GCCA's membership meeting to the center owner who demonstrates outstanding initiative and leadership in advancing the mission of GCCA and promoting quality, licensed child care in Georgia.
  • December 03, 2012 2:39 PM | Carolyn Salvador (Administrator)

    Using money from ARRA and a partnership with GSU, DECAL has created a virtual online library of short videos and training for providers.    Materials from Pre-K and Child Care Licensing Services (CCS) Core Licensing Rules will be included on this site.

     

    The Online Library Learning Initiative (OLLI) makes it easy for providers to obtain free training on relevant topics without having to travel!

     

    Check out the classes that DECAL is currently offering.

     

    http://www.olli.decal.ga.gov/

     

     

  • July 24, 2012 4:39 PM | Carolyn Salvador (Administrator)

    Last week, state lottery officials approved for the first time, the sale of lottery tickets online.  Initially, online ticket sales will be restricted to only three games; Powerball, MegaMillions and Fantasy 5, beginning for sale in November, 2012.

     

    Conservative estimates predict that lottery revenues will increase by millions each year with Georgia Pre K and Hope Scholarships as the fortunate recipient of the proceeds.

     

    Georgia will be one of the first states to expand lottery sales to the Internet which has been made possible due to a recent reverse decision made by the US Justice Department on the National Wire Act of 1961.

     

    Lottery sales have been declining for several years and lottery expenditures have increased with demands for Hope Scholarships and higher ed tuition rates. Pre K providers and teachers have had to endure cuts over the last two years so this is a very positive step in what we hope will bring much needed revenue back to the lottery coffers!

     

     with demands for Hope Scholarships and higher ed tuition rates. Pre K providers and teachers have had to endure cuts over the last two years so this is a very positive step in what we hope will bring much needed revenue back to the lottery coffers!

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