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Introducing ELM's New Oversight Council

In January, Early Learning Multnomah is forming a new Oversight Council and improving the meeting structure for its existing governance councils—the Parent Accountability Council (PAC) and Sector Council. The changes will create a tighter connection between the PAC and Sector Council, creating more accountability and even stronger parent insight into ELM investments. 

The new Oversight Council, made up of existing PAC and Sector Council members, will be dedicated to ensuring that ELM meets its state-funded requirements. It will meet for the first time in March. 

Starting in January, the PAC and Sector Council will have overlapping meetings to set priorities for the new Oversight Council. The joint meetings will continue throughout the year, creating more opportunities for Sector Council members to hear directly from parents.  

“When we get the PAC and Sector together, we have an opportunity for Sector partners to run their ideas by the insight and wisdom of the PAC,” said Molly Day, Early Learning Director at ELM. “They build trust and can inform each other that way. And there may very well be projects that emerge from those conversations that the Sector Council will use to build a better, more integrated system.” 

To sum up, ELM will now have three governance councils:

  1. Parent Accountability Council 
    Who they are: This council is made up of parents from six culturally specific communities and staff from culturally specific, community-based organizations. 
    What they do: They are responsible for making sure that everything ELM does follows the Guiding Principles
  2. Sector Council
    Who they are: This council is made up of staff from social service organizations and other stakeholders, including business, health, early childhood, K-12 and social services.
    What they do: They are focused on how we build a system that allows all children to be successful in early grades. It’s a voluntary, peer community that is committed to rethinking how the early learning system works and taking responsibility for each organization’s role in that system. 
  3. Oversight Council
    Who they are: The Oversight Committee is made up of representatives from the PAC and Sector Council. 
    What they do: They allocate funds and make sure that ELM investments meet state requirements, demonstrate ELM’s Guiding Principles, and support broader systems change. 

In addition to these three governance councils, ELM will continue to convene its broader Early Learning Community on a quarterly basis. These meetings are open to participants from social services, health care, disability rights, home visiting, childcare, K12, business, philanthropy, and more. ELM hosts the meetings, which are designed as opportunities for participants to give advice and insight to specific system-level challenges brought by peers.  

“We’re taking these changes slowly and focusing on building relationships,” said Molly Day. “Everyone is learning to speak each other’s language in terms of jargon and priorities. We don’t know anyone who has walked this path before us, but we know this is the right thing to do and it matches who we are as an organization.”

We are looking forward to seeing how these changes will transform our investments in the coming year, especially as we look to our new Oversight Council to help us make allocation decisions for the start of our new funding cycle in July 2018. 

If you’re not a member of our governance councils, we hope to hear from you directly or see you at an Early Learning Community meeting sometime this year! Check our calendar for the next meeting.