Scott Hippert, CEO of the California-based early learning nonprofit, Child360, has issued the following statement in regards to Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget for FY 2018-19:
“Gov. Brown’s proposed budget signifies progress and hope for our earliest learners. In this final year of promised multi-year funding for early learning, we commend the Brown Administration for elevating early learning and honoring his commitment to increase the Standard Reimbursement Rate (SRR) and fund additional full-day state preschool slots.
We also want to emphasize that the need to support early learning from every angle is far from over. Child360 will continue to advocate for increased investments until every child has the opportunity for a bright future, beginning at birth. This means not only providing access to high-quality early learning, but also lifting-up everything and everyone surrounding that child. We must support the development of the whole child. Our children deserve it, and so do we.
We thank the Brown administration for investing in early childcare programs, but we must better support those at the frontline—our early education workforce.
Child360 is working toward a future where every child has the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Unfortunately, this is not a reality for too many of California’s families, and we are committed to advocating for the better tomorrow our children deserve—in Los Angeles County alone, childcare subsidies are available for only 15% of eligible working families with infants and toddlers.
We’re hopeful the Governor’s proposed $167.2M Inclusive Early Education Expansion Program will begin to help address this disparity. Open to both Local Education Agencies (LEA) and non-LEA providers, the proposal prioritizes providers that will expand availability of care for children ages 0 to 5 in low-income, high need areas of the state. Program funds can be used to improve provider infrastructure through measures such as facility renovations, training and equipment.
The Governor’s proposed investment in home visiting targets another critical area of needed support for our youngest citizens and their parents. The proposed budget includes $26.7M to support a voluntary home visiting pilot program for young, first-time parents in the CalWORKS program. Home visiting programs support the healthy development of young children, connect parents to critical services in their communities, and improve family engagement practices.
Even as the state has taken steps to reinvest in early learning over the past four years, we still have a significant amount of work ahead of us. We look forward to working alongside the Brown Administration and members of the Legislature to create a budget that moves the needle even further to support our youngest learners.”