Bay Area Council Blog: Early Childhood Education Archive

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A GOVERNOR, THREE MAYORS AND A SECRETARY OF STATE WALKED INTO A CONFERENCE…

With Sacramento awash in tax revenue, Gov. Jerry Brown told a full house of 600 Bay Area business leaders at the 2015 Outlook Conference on Thursday (May 21) that it’s “Katie bar the door” when it comes to resisting new spending. Brown opened the conference with wide ranging remarks on California’s growing economy and the inevitability of a future downturn, his plans to hold the line on new spending, the historic drought, climate change, Bay Bridge bolts and investing in critical infrastructure, among other topics. Following remarks by Signature Development Group President Michael Ghielmetti and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, the governor also took a moment to break some news by announcing his endorsement of Lee for reelection in November. See the announcement>>

Read the San Francisco Chronicle story>>

Bay Area Council Executive Committee member and Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson led a lively discussion with Mayor Lee, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo on regional solutions to the Bay Area’s housing supply and affordability crisis, public safety and traffic congestion.

With an introduction by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (the LA Dodgers fan bravely announced the SF Giants’ 4-0 win over his team to complete a three-game sweep), former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm wowed the audience with a very humorous and informative talk on clean energy before sitting down with Executive Committee member and PG&E Chairman, President and CEO Tony Earley for a conversation about what he called the “Grid of Everything.” Earley said the explosion of rooftop solar, new energy efficiency and storage technologies and aggressive carbon reduction targets means California must move quickly to adapt its policy and regulatory frameworks to manage the changes. He pointed to a recent Bay Area Council Economic Institute report – 21st Century Infrastructure: Keeping California Connected, Powered and Competitive – that lays out a vision for promoting investment in modern energy networks.

Bay Area Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman opened the conference, whose theme was New Frontiers, with a stirring speech about the Bay Area’s new frontiers. See Jim Wunderman’s Outlook Conference speech>>

There was tremendous interest in a new report released by JPMorgan Chase — Strengthening the Bay Area — at the Outlook Conference examining opportunities in the Bay Area for creating more middle skills jobs – those that require a high school degree and technical training. Joni Topper, JPMorgan Chase Senior Market Executive, led a talk with Jay Banfield, Executive Director of Year Up Bay Area, Cecily Joseph, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer for Symantec Corporation, and Van Ton-Quinlivan, Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development for the California Community Colleges, on sectors where middle skills jobs are growing and strategies that companies can employ to connect with the workers they need.

Nadine Burke Harris, Founder and CEO of Center for Youth Wellness, gave a riveting talk about how traumatic childhood experiences related to poverty, family dysfunction and other causes can lead to future costly health problems and derail opportunities to participate fully in the workforce and economy.

Chevron Chief Diversity Officer Shariq Yosufzai shared his company’s Catalyst Award-winning initiative – The Chevron Way – to promote engineering and leadership opportunities for women and American Express President Ed Gilligan talked with Beverly Anderson, Head of Consumer Financial Services at Wells Fargo Bank, about how new technologies are transforming the payments industry.

The Bay Area Council extends its sincerest thanks to PG&E for serving as the presenting Visionary Sponsor of the Outlook Conference, and to the many other companies whose support of the event makes possible the council’s continuing policy and advocacy work. We’re also deeply grateful to The Ritz-Carlton and its amazing staff for hosting the conference in its recently renovated and gorgeous Grand Ballroom.

See photos from the event>>

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CONTINUING PROGRESS ON EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION ISSUES

The Bay Area Council is continuing its strong leadership on early childhood education, developing new partnerships and advocating for increased resources. The science is clear that investing in early education and brain development is among the most cost-effective ways to increase career and economic opportunities for future generations. Senior Vice President Matt Regan, who leads the Council’s early education work, last week delivered that message during a panel discussion at the NALEO Education Leadership Initiative Policy Institute on Early Learning in Napa. Regan talked about the importance of additional investments in early childhood education with Assemblymember Luis Alejo, Chair of the Latino Caucus, and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. The audience included Latino elected officials and schoolboard members from across California and the country. The panel was introduced by Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

On the legislative front, the Council announced that it is sponsoring a new bill (SB 670) by state Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson that would reinstate business tax credits for workplace-based child care of up to $360 per employee per month and $50,000 for program startup costs. Legislation (AB 47) by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty to fund preschool for all 4 year old children from lower-income families by 2017 that the Council is supporting was approved in committee this week (April 27) . To engage in the Council’s early childhood education work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.

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SALESFORCE CEO BENIOFF GIVES BOOST TO COUNCIL’S EARLY ED INITIATIVE

The innovative early childhood education program that the Bay Area Council is helping lead in Oakland got some good news this week when Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff generously offered to fund 1,500 more “Talk Read Sing” kits for parents, families and caregivers. The Council launched the Talk Read Sing program last year in partnership with former Sec. Hillary Clinton’s Too Small to Fail organization, with support from Bay Area Council members UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, Kaiser Permanente, UPS and Clear Channel Outdoor. The kits include a t-shirt, bath towel, a baby onesie and other learning materials that feature prompts to encourage and make it easy for busy parents to talk read and sing to their babies and toddlers.

The Talk Read Sing program also was among the topics discussed at a recent meeting in New York that Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman attended as a member of former Sec. Clinton’s Too Small to Fail Advisory Council. In addition to funding the new kits and committing Salesforce employees to volunteer to assemble them, Benioff previously donated $3 million to support the initiative and featured it during the company’s major Dreamforce global conference last year. To engage in our early childhood education work, contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.

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LEADERSHIP CHANGE AT ECONOMIC INSTITUTE ANNOUNCED

The Bay Area Council Economic Institute this week announced that effective February 1, 2015 Dr. Micah Weinberg will become President, succeeding long-time leader Dr. Sean Randolph as he assumes the new role of Senior Director. The transition comes as the Economic Institute is enjoying a period of robust growth, in both projects and visibility.

“The future of the Economic Institute couldn’t be brighter,” said Laura D’Andrea Tyson, Chair of the Economic Institute Board of Trustees. “We are extremely fortunate to have a leader of Dr. Weinberg’s caliber take the reins at the same time that Dr. Randolph continues to contribute his immense knowledge and talents to the organization. This change will bring new energy to the institute and deepen the expertise we already bring to exploring and understanding the Bay Area’s unique and unparalleled innovation and economic ecosystem.”

Dr. Weinberg is a nationally recognized economic development and public policy expert who has most recently served as Senior Fellow at the Economic Institute and spearheaded the Bay Area Council’s health care policy work. He has emerged as a leading national health policy analyst authoring several major reports through the Institute and appearing regularly as an expert voice in the state and national media.

Read the press release announcing the change>>

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BAY AREA COUNCIL UNVEILS 2015 POLICY PRIORITIES

The Bay Area Council this week (Dec. 10) doubled down on its efforts to tackle the region’s most pressing challenges, unveiling a bold policy agenda for 2015 that prioritizes building workforce housing, creating the workforce of the future, securing water supply reliability, battling traffic and modernizing vital communications and energy infrastructure. The Council’s Executive Committee, under the leadership of Chair David Cush, President and CEO of Virgin America, approved a set of policy priorities that include:

Workforce Housing: The Bay Area’s inability to meet housing demand is creating a massive affordability crisis and threatening to hamper the region’s economic growth. The Housing Committee, Co-Chaired by TMG Partners Chairman & CEO Michael Covarrubias and Signature Development Group President Michael Ghielmetti, will focus on ways to ease regulatory barriers and speed new housing in so-called regional “priority development areas.” To engage in our housing work, contact policy Vice President Matt Regan.

21st Century Infrastructure: New energy and communications technologies are essential to building the “smart cities” of the future and driving economic growth. However, the regulatory powers are not keeping pace. Under the leadership of Co-Chairs PG&E Chairman, CEO & President Anthony F. Earley and AT&T California President Kenneth McNeely, the 21st Century Task Force is driving legislative and regulatory change that will enable the development and utilization of advanced energy and communications networks. To engage in the Council’s 21st Century Infrastructure work, contact policy Vice President Michael Cunningham.

Commute Improvement: Growing traffic indicates an expanding economy, but also reflects insufficient transportation capacity and outdated operations. Under the leadership of Arup Principal John Eddy, the Council’s Transportation Committee is focused on leveraging new technologies to boost highway capacity and efficiency, increasing investment in mass transit and identifying new reliable transportation funding sources. To engage in our commute improvement work, contact policy Vice President Michael Cunningham.

Water Supply and Security: With growing and often-conflicting demand and limited supply, ensuring that the Bay Area has sufficient water is vital to the region’s economic health. The Water Committee, Co-Chaired by Montezuma Wetlands Managing Partner Jim Levine and Suffolk Construction Company West Coast President Andrew Ball, will work to ensure Proposition 1 funds support best regional projects and continue to advance coequal goals of supply reliability and environmental preservation in the Bay Delta. To engage in the Council’s water policy work, contact Policy Manager Adrian Covert.

Workforce of the Future: The world of work is changing much faster than the education and training world. This mismatch creates “skills gaps” between what employers want and the skills job applicants possess. Students and educators need better information about the world of work and the skills that are needed for high demand jobs. Employers need strategies for engaging with and influencing the public sector talent/workforce supply chain. The Council will work to establish a regional model of public-private cooperation for the future workforce. To engage in our Workforce of the Future work, contact policy Vice President Linda Galliher.

The Bay Area Council extends its hearty thanks to Board member and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland President and CEO Bert Lubin and Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute Executive Director Janet King for generously hosting our Executive Committee and Board of Directors meeting. The Council has been honored to work with Dr. Lubin in our early childhood education work, including the launch earlier this year of our Talk Read Sing campaign in Oakland.

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800 Celebrate Giants Win, Business Leadership at 2014 Annual Dinner

About 800 of our closest friends gathered Wednesday (Oct. 29) for the Bay Area Council’s 69th Annual Dinner and Business Hall of Fame at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, where we honored Intuit Founder Scott Cook and former Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO George Halvorson.

Oh yeah, and we turned the whole event into a big viewing party to watch the San Francisco Giants defeat the Kansas City Royals in a rollicking Game 7 that featured a sublime and historic performance by pitcher and World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner.

Thank you to Presenting Sponsor Kaiser Permanente and CEO Bernard J. Tyson for their continuing support of the Bay Area Council. Thank you also to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and former Mayor Willie Brown for dropping by to add their congratulations to our two honorees.

See a photo gallery of the festivities.

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Council’s “Talk Read Sing” Initiative Takes Center Stage at Saleforce’s Dreamforce

The Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing early childhood education campaign that the Bay Area Council developed in partnership with Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of The Clinton Foundation and Next Generation, got a big boost this week (Oct. 14) at the Salesforce Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman joined Sec. Hillary Clinton, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Next Generation Co-Founder James Steyer and dozens of volunteers to stuff Talk Read Sing tote bags that will be distributed to thousands of Oakland families. Rosemary Turner, Northern California District President of UPS, also participated, along with Bertram Lubin, CEO of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, and Dr. Elio Gizzi, East Bay Chief of General Pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente. UPS generously provided the logistical support needed to store and deliver the tote bags and the books, DVDs and other goodies that went in them. The hospitals are serving as major centers of distribution.

The initiative is focused on arming parents and other caregivers with simple tools they can use in their daily lives to close the word gap by talking, reading and singing to very young children.  Children in low-income families hear up to 30 million fewer words by age four than those in higher-income families. This lack of hearing and learning words means these children enter school with smaller vocabularies and far more likely to fall behind; this achievement gap often persists through school and has lifelong implications for success, health and well-being.

Meanwhile, on the opposite coast Council Vice President Matt Regan traveled to the White House on Wednesday (Oct. 15) for a full-day workshop with top business, academic, nonprofit and government leaders to discuss cutting-edge research findings on effective solutions and strategies designed to bridge the early language gap. And on Monday (Oct. 20), Council CEO Wunderman will participate in a White House Town Hall in San Francisco on early education with U.S. Education Sec. Arne Duncan, Early Edge California President Deborah Kong and former state Senate President Darrell Steinberg. To engage in the Council’s early childhood education work, please contact Vice President Matt Regan.

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Giant Step Forward for Council’s Early Childhood Work

The Bay Area Council’s ground-breaking work on early childhood development took a giant step forward last week with the announcement of a new partnership with national powerhouse Too Small to Fail. Council CEO Jim Wunderman joined Sec. Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, July 23 to announce the partnership and unveil an innovative campaign — Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing — being rolled out in Oakland that many believe can become a national model for promoting brain development in children beginning at birth. The Bay Area Council developed the campaign, which is targeted to parents and caregivers, with renowned advertising firm Goodby Silverstein & Partners.

See overview video of the Talk Read Sign campaign.

The Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing campaign will reach thousands of Oakland families over the next several years and is focused on closing the “word gap“—a difference of about 30 million words that children in high-income families hear from parents and caregivers by their fourth birthday, compared to those in low-income families. Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of The Clinton Foundation and San Francisco-based The Next Generation, embraced the campaign and saw its potential to reach a national audience.

With a generous grant from Kaiser Permanente, the Bay Area Council began working last year with Goodby Silverstein & Partners to develop the creative for the campaign, which includes television commercials and radio spots, prompts like “Let’s Talk About the Bus” on billboards and bus shelters around Oakland (donated by Clear Channel Outdoor), as well as a new clothing line for babies and toddlers developed by local apparel manufacturer Oaklandish. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland under the leadership of President and CEO Bert Lubin will serve as a primary channel for reaching parents.

See the Talking commercial.

See the Reading commercial.

See the Singing commercial.

The campaign highlights for parents how simple actions like describing objects seen during a bus ride, singing songs, reading aloud or telling stories can significantly improve babies’ ability to build vocabulary and boost their brain development. The fewer words children hear and learn, the more likely they are to experience an achievement gap, which persists through the preschool and kindergarten years and has a life-long impact on health and well-being. Parents and caregivers can help close the word gap by talking, reading and singing to their children from birth every day.

talkreadsingThe announcement and the innovative messaging campaign attracted global media attention, and was followed up on Thursday (July 24) with a “Baby Shower” hosted by Children’s Fairyland in Oakland where hundreds of families received clothing, blankets and books and were joined by performer José-Luis Orozco, storytellers, storybook characters and community leaders. Sec. Clinton expressed her hope that the Oakland campaign can be expanded to cities around the country.

“There’s no bigger difference we can make in children’s lives than stimulating their brains during the first five years,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of Bay Area Council. “We’re thrilled to partner with Too Small to Fail on this exciting campaign. The thousands of children that will benefit from ‘Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing’ could be the next Steve Jobs or Henry Kaiser, leading a new generation of invention, progress and prosperity.”

To engage in the Council’s early childhood education work, contact Vice President Matt Regan.

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Council’s Matt Regan Talks Early Brain Development on ABC 7′s Beyond the Headlines

Bay Area Council Vice President of Public Policy Matt Regan on June 28 appeared on ABC7′s Emmy award-winning public affairs show “Beyond the Headlines” examining early childhood development. Early childhood education is among the top policy priorities for the Bay Area Council because of the significant scientific research showing that there may be no larger return for a child’s future success than investing in growing their brain development from age 0-5.

The Bay Area Council currently is partnering with Too Small to Fail – an initiative of The Clinton Foundation and San Francisco-based Center for the Next Generation – on a groundbreaking, innovative messaging campaign aimed at closing the word gap in lower-income communities. With funding from Kaiser Permanente, the Council and Next Generation developed the campaign with globally renowned San Francisco ad firm Goodby Silverstein. Regan, who appears with U.C. Davis Psychology Professor Dr. Ross Thompson and First 5 California Deputy Director of Programs Diane Levin, unveiled campaign materials and discussed the critical role the region’s business community will play in preparing future generations of well-educated, high-skilled workers.

Watch Beyond the Headlines.

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GOOD NEWS IN STATE BUDGET FOR BAY AREA COUNCIL PRIORITIES

Gov. Jerry Brown traveled south on June 20 to sign a state budget that acknowledges several of the Bay Area Council’s top policy priorities. The overall $156 billion spending plan includes $230 million for various affordable housing programs and $264 million for early education. The housing money, $130 million of which will be channeled from cap-and-trade revenue to support transit-oriented development, comes as the Bay Area confronts a severe housing shortage. While the funding is a positive sign that housing is getting increased attention in Sacramento, the level represents a drop in the bucket against the overall problem. And, it’s unclear how much of the funding will flow to the Bay Area. The Council continues to work with stakeholders in the region on both short- and long-term strategies for spurring more housing across all income levels. The budget also sets aside $264 million for early education, including 11,500 preschool slots for low-income 4-year-olds by June 2015 and another 31,500 slots in future years.