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Early learning gains ground in state budget agreement

LAUP CEO commends Governor Brown, legislators for investment

Los Angeles, CA — The early care and education nonprofit Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) was heartened by the news that early learning gained some ground in the California state budget today.

Dr. Celia C. Ayala, CEO of LAUP, said the state’s commitment of $265 million for early care and learning programs is a “tremendous leap in the right direction for our youngest learners.”

“After advocating with other organizations and individuals for years, we commend Governor Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins for their dedication to improving early learning opportunities for children in California,” Ayala said. “To get our education system back to a high-performing one that truly prepares our children for success, we desperately need to reinvest in our early learning programs.”

The budget agreement includes 7,000 additional preschool slots and 6,800 child care slots, and commits to a multiple-year strategy for rebuilding California’s early learning system by providing rate increases to providers and teachers. It also includes a one-time $24-million commitment to the Quality Rating and Improvement Systems for infants and toddlers.

“With our federal government and other states making great investments in early care and learning, as a state we must respond in turn,” Ayala said. “At the federal level, they have asked us repeatedly: ‘What are you going to do as individual states to improve early learning for the children in your care?’”

“At LAUP, we see firsthand the benefits of quality early care and education that research confirms,” she added. “Our children excel in kindergarten and beyond, and are well on their way to leading empowered lives as healthy, engaged, productive citizens of society.”