January 30, 2023
RPC Early Childhood Division Director Brandi Granse is bringing her decades of experience to a group devoted to putting children and families from low-income backgrounds on the path to lifelong success. Granse recently started a three-year term as a member of the Head Start Task Force, which advises the Community Action Partnership (CAP) Board of Directors on actions related to early childhood issues.
Granse is one of eight Head Start or Early Childhood Education directors from Community Action Agencies around the country that serve on the task force, which also includes Executive Directors from several Community Action Agencies, including RPC CEO Dalitso Sulamoyo. The Task Force advocates on behalf of the Community Action Network to promote the historical and programmatic collaborations that exist between Community Action and the Head Start early childhood education model.
*It’s an honor to join a group devoted to bringing early childhood education to children across America,” says Granse, who has been with the RPC for over 20 years. “All of us believe that structural inequities, such as those involving race and gender, are best addressed in a Head Start setting where parents and other caregivers share power with educators and other community stakeholders.”
The Task Force functions through the belief that early childhood education programs are most effective and efficient when implemented through a Community Action Agency focused on a whole family approach to serving families. That approach allows agencies to easily leverage other community-based family supports and services. (The RPC was designated as the Community Action Agency for Champaign County in 1984 and has administered the county’s award-winning Head Start and Early Head Start programs since 1995.)
Through her representation on the Task Force, Granse will help facilitate structured feedback from the Community Action Network on general issues relating to Head Start/Early Head Start programs, while disseminating information on policy issues and initiatives impacting those programs regarding operation, administration, monitoring, and funding. The Task Force, which meets at least four times per year, also releases statements on behalf of the CAP on legislative, administrative, and legal actions affecting programs; and establishes goals for engagement and strategies for achieving them.
“Efforts to adopt universal access to early childhood educational programming should build on proven models like Head Start,” Granse stresses. “More specifically, we believe expanded early education programs should require strong family engagement, parent leadership, and community collaboration.”