The City of Oakland is in the midst of determining its budget for the next two fiscal years (2023-24 and 2024-25). Mayor Sheng Thao unveiled her $4.2 billion budget proposal on May 3, 2023 and City Council has until June 30, 2023 to pass a final budget. This year, there is a $360 million budget deficit to contend with due to fewer tax revenues and the loss of pandemic emergency dollars. Mayor Thao presented a balanced budget made possible by hiring freezes, strategic reductions, and a proposed reorganization of some city departments.
Since 2017, through the Resilient Oakland Communities and Kids (ROCK) initiative, Oakland Starting Smart and Strong (OSSS) has been building knowledge about resilience, trauma and its impact on children, and self-care for educators. Examples of ROCK supports for early childhood educators include: in person and virtual trainings, Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), educator coaching, yoga, and self care resources.
OSSS and our partners collected our third round of Early Development Instrument (EDI) data in February. The EDI is a neighborhood-level snapshot of how systems are supporting Kindergarten children’s health, development, and school readiness. The results can inform neighborhood-based planning to hold systems accountable for the well-being of young children.
As we discussed in a previous blog post, developmental screening helps families understand a child’s development, celebrate milestones, and identify supports for delays in development. Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), First 5 Alameda County/Help Me Grow (HMG) and other partners have been expanding access to developmental screenings for young children in Oakland.