Following the recent announcement by Governor Gavin Newsom to invest approximately $1.8 billion in child development programs in this year’s budget proposal, Child360 released the following statement from CEO William Sperling:
It is exciting and encouraging that the Governor is demonstrating his commitment to expanding and improving early learning opportunities for California’s children in his first budget. We applaud the Governor for recognizing the need for a comprehensive approach to boost early learning opportunities for young children and families. It is significant that he recognizes the readiness gap that exists across children of lower socioeconomic backgrounds, and that his plan addresses this longstanding dilemma.
More development is happening for children in these first five years than any other point in life – yet children who start at a disadvantage often don’t develop the critical skills they need and are less prepared to begin school. A study from researchers at the University of Michigan found that at kindergarten entry, cognitive scores of children in the highest socioeconomic group were 60 percent higher than those of the lowest group.
At Child360, we believe in supporting the whole child; which includes supporting those who care for and teach children. We are pleased the Governor’s expected proposal does just that, by seeking to expand pre-kindergarten and facilities for full-day kindergarten; by helping train child-care workers; and supporting the families and parents of these children, who are in fact the child’s first teacher.
We know that high quality early learning depends upon a well-supported workforce, and we are interested to learn more about the Governor’s plans surrounding the training of childcare workers. The field of ECE has faced significant challenges in attracting and maintaining the skilled, diverse and stable workforce that’s needed to nurture our youngest children, and we look forward to supporting policies that better serve the field.
There is important work ahead for the Governor and the legislature, and it is promising that 2019 is already beginning with an expected proposal that prioritizes California’s children.