The Future Project - Steering Committee

Selecting Our Steering Committee

The Future Project is all about imagining a new early learning future in Florida. The Children’s Movement of Florida and partners are developing a comprehensive roadmap for early learning, looking beyond the current political reality and focusing on the needs of young children and their families. We are grounding this work in the perspectives of parents and educators, who have often been missing from policy conversations, so that the needs and desires of diverse Florida families are at the center of our policies. Parents and educators will come together with state leaders and others with system-level expertise to draft the roadmap.

It is important for the success of this project to have a diverse group of people leading the work: from different economic circumstances and family backgrounds, bringing different parenting styles and educational preferences, understanding the intricacies of the early learning system, and representing communities all across our state. 

The Steering Committee will be this group of leaders. Following our listening tour–where hundreds of Floridians are sharing critical perspectives–parents, educators, center owners and directors, advocates, and state policy experts will work collaboratively to plan the future. No matter what perspective or expertise each member brings, they will come together as equal partners, each committed to the work over the next 10 months. 

Applications close this Friday, August 26!

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Steering Committee Role

The Steering Committee will drive our planning and roadmap creation. Steering Committee members will work together and use their networks to develop the roadmap to transform Florida’s early learning system and support ongoing advocacy that leads to implementation. 

Specifically, they will:

  • Make suggestions for early learning system improvement, centering the needs of children and families and drawing on input gathered during the listening tour.
  • Engage their networks in community meetings where we present the draft roadmap to receive feedback.
  • Approve and actively support roadmap dissemination.

The Steering Committee will be supported by a dedicated team of consultants and staff from The Children’s Movement of Florida. 

Steering Committee Membership

The Steering Committee will consist of 20-30 people who represent multiple aspects of early learning in Florida. 

It will include representation from:

  • Parents and families with young children impacted by the state’s early learning services
  • Key state agencies that impact and/or administer the current public early childhood systems
  • Child care and health providers who support essential educational, health, developmental, or social-emotional supports for young children and their families
  • Advocates and leaders who work on early childhood systems and policies in Florida

Among these groups, we will ensure representation from diverse Florida regions, to include urban and rural areas, and different racial and ethnic groups. Translation and language interpretation will be provided as needed and requested.

Given our focus on centering the experiences of parents and educators, who are often missing from policy conversations, at least 55% of the Steering Committee’s members will be parents of children under age five and/or early learning educators/owners/directors or others directly serving children in their 0-5 years. 

Member Expectations

Steering Committee members will:

  • Participate in at least 75% of meetings (including Steering Committee and smaller planning meetings or working groups). Many of these meetings will take place on evenings or weekends to accommodate parent and educator schedules. 
  • Expect to have some work between meetings—reviewing draft materials, engaging with community members, and leveraging their networks to help inform the statewide roadmap and to support its initial implementation.
  • Commit to participate in an initial term that runs through June 2023. The time commitment for each Steering Committee member is expected to average 5 to 10 hours per month.

A member can be removed at any time for non-participation, attendance, not contributing to group norms/agreements or for other reasons determined by the chair/co-chairs.

Meeting Schedule

Steering Committee members will be selected and notified by September 9, 2022. We will launch the work with a 90-minute virtual meeting in September 2022 and may meet monthly for one to two-hour virtual meetings through June 2023. A proposed meeting schedule will be shared at the first meeting of the Steering Committee.

Here is the meeting schedule through December 2022:

  • Thursday, September 15: 6 to 7:30 p.m. (virtual)
  • Tuesday, October 4: 6 to 7:30 p.m. (virtual)
  • Tuesday, November 8: 6 to 7:30 p.m. (virtual)
  • Friday evening and Saturday, December 9 and 10 (in-person in Orlando)

Members of the Steering Committee whose primary work does not focus on the state’s early childhood systems will be offered optional preparation meetings as needed.

Please note that meetings will likely be a combination of virtual and in-person meetings, and some meetings may be held during evenings and/or weekends to allow for full participation by parents and educators.

Steering Committee Compensation

We are conscious of the barriers parents and educators typically face in participating at policy tables and firmly believe in compensating participants for their time and expertise. 

Steering Committee members who are parents and/or educators (who are not otherwise compensated for their engagement in advocacy initiatives) will receive financial compensation for their participation from grant funds. This will be paid as a quarterly stipend based on continued participation in the Steering Committee and related meetings, and will comply with all applicable IRS guidelines. 

Compensation will include:

  • $1,500 stipend for participation in activities between September 2022 and June 2023, paid in equal installments in September, February, and May.
  • Compensation for any necessary child care and travel costs to participate in meetings.
  • Meals will be provided for in-person meetings; a meal stipend will be provided for virtual
  • meetings held during meal times.

This work is made possible by the Helios Education Foundation.