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Georgia Council on Literacy: Birth-5 Years Old Working Group Meeting Report May 2024 Meeting

The Georgia Council on Literacy Birth to 5 Working Group met virtually May 15 to discuss and prioritize literacy goals.


Opening Remarks & Working Group Focus

Susan Adams, deputy commissioner for Georgia’s Pre-K and instructional supports at the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), provided Working Group members with a brief summary of HB 538 and  SB 211, which established the Georgia Council on Literacy. She also outlined the duties assigned to the Birth to 5 Working Group.

Adams then spoke about the focus and timeline for future meetings. Ultimately, the meetings will produce information for the Council on Literacy's annual report. Legislation and budget appropriations could also be pursued based on Working Group recommendations.


Professional Learning Literacy Requirement Update

Christi Moore, director for workforce learning and supports at DECAL, provided an update on literacy professional learning requirements. She stated that the Georgia Training Approval (GTA) process ensures the highest quality of training, and these standards should be maintained for literacy training. Moore also said that these standards and expectations should be properly communicated to the training community.

Moore reported that DECAL is working to ensure that relevant rules changes happen in a timely manner. During the next Working Group meeting, representatives of the Child Care Services Division will be present to discuss how rule changes will be processed.

Following Moore's presentation, Working Group members inquired about which early childcare and education providers must follow DECAL's requirements. Moore replied that all licensed providers must follow these requirements but that unlicensed providers would not. Members requested information on what percent of children attend licensed providers versus the percent that attend unlicensed providers. DECAL staff provided data from a recently released Economic Impact of the Early Care and Education Industry in Georgia study and Moore stated that DECAL would work to provide more up-to-date data at a future meeting.


Current Working Group Recommendation

The Working Group currently has five approved recommendations. The first two recommendations were discussed in more depth, and members broke into small groups to explore how to best address them.

The small group assigned to address the first recommendation reported that they propose greater focus on utilizing speech pathologists and the literacy and language needs of very young learners.

The small group assigned to address the second recommendation reported that Georgia’s Workforce Knowledge and Competencies for Early Childhood Education (WKCs) and educator training should work in tandem. They stressed the need for administrators to address high educator turnover without threatening literacy outcomes.


Goal Prioritization

After the meeting concluded, Working Group members were sent a survey to prioritize their goals.


Other Business

Dr. Lindee Morgan, executive director of the Sandra Dunagan Deal Center for Early Language and Literacy, stated that the Deal Center is holding the 2024 Governor’s Summit on Early Language and Literacy July 17-18 at Georgia College & State University.


Next Meeting

The Working Group will meet again August 19, and the full Council on Literacy will next meet August 26.


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