Board of Advisors - October 30, 2017

The Children’s Movement’s Space Coast Board of Advisors held its second meeting this fall on Monday, building on the momentum from the September one.

Members discussed diversifying the board to include professionals from the child healthcare field, such as pediatricians, child psychologists or speech pathologists. They also agreed to try to make inroads with the local chambers of commerce and Rotary Club to garner their support for early childhood initiatives in the Space Coast.

The board reviewed The Movement’s 2020 Goals for Florida’s youngest children, which call for seeking more state investment for early learning, health care and parenting resources. Some members raised concerns about the Florida KidCare program, which provides subsidized, private health and dental coverage for eligible children from low-income families. KidCare receives federal funding through the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, which Congress did not renew before its authorization ran out Sept. 30. It is not clear whether legislation to extend the program will pass before states, including Florida, run out of money.

“Florida will run out of money in early 2018,” said board member Maria Mogollon-Seemer, CEO of Electronic Training Solutions. In addition, “[some] low-income families who cannot pay their premiums because of Hurricane Irma will be disenrolled.”

Board member Althea Puzio, program director of Space Coast Early Steps, added, “Not as many kids are insured as there should be. … It’s not where it needs to be.”

Some board members also raised concerns about the make-up of a task force looking at ways to streamline KidCare’s programs. They urged that more parents and child advocates to be included.

The next board meeting will be in early 2018. For more information about the board, feel free to contact me. Thank you.

Gerrit Van Lent
Outreach and Engagement Coordinator-Central Florida
cell: 305-393-3465