2019 begins with a state budget proposal that prioritizes our children
At Child360, we exist to support the whole child – this means not only investing in our children, but supporting those who care for and teach children during their most formative years, and supporting the families and parents of these children. Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom proposed his state budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, which includes $1.8 billion for child development programs—a significant increase—and takes a comprehensive approach to support early educators, young children, and their families. New funding would reportedly expand early care and education (ECE) opportunities for children, enable ECE professionals to advance their own education, and bolster parents’ ability to support their child’s learning – each essential elements to help break the California’s cycle of poverty.
There are two measures of particular interest to us: Increased support for a well-trained and supported childcare workforce, and significant funding increases for additional full-day, year-round preschool slots for low-income children.
These focuses create a two-generation approach, with $500 million in one-time funding to help expand subsidized childcare facilities, and to invest in the education of the childcare workforce. By investing in our educators, we are not only developing their professionalism and what they put back into the economy, but also are investing in our future artists, doctors, lawyers, corporate executives, and engineers. The second measure expands access to early learning opportunities for low-income children, with nearly $125 million in the first year, with additional investments over the next two years, to fund an additional 200,000 full-day, year-round state preschool slots. 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. More development is happening in these first five years than any other point in life. We must continue to invest in policies that place children on an equal playing field with their peers, no matter their socio-economic background.
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 proposal does just that, by seeking to expand preschool opportunities and childcare facilities; by helping train child-care workers; and by supporting the families and parents of these children, who are in fact the child’s first teacher.
There is important work ahead for the Governor and State Legislation, and it is promising that 2019 is already beginning with a proposal that prioritizes California’s children. We look forward to partnering with the Governor and State Legislature, in stride with our early learning partners throughout the state, to build policies that prioritize California’s children and those who nurture them during their most critical window.
For more information on this proposed budget and the impacts on early learning, please visit Child360’s official statement, which you can access here.
Bill Sperling, CEO