We are living in a historic moment in California, with a monumental shift in how the Governor is prioritizing young children and their families. The governor has passed a budget deal that yields more than $2 billion in funding for comprehensive child development services, paving the way for more parents to be there the first time their newborn smiles, for more teachers to advance their professional goals, and for more young children to have the opportunity to learn in a classroom setting, alongside their peers.
On June 27, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $214.8 billion state budget that took effect July 1, 2019. The budget includes robust investments in early care and education (ECE), with funding for ECE totaling about $2.8 billion to support comprehensive child development services. The budget includes $195 million for workforce development grants, which will enable ECE professionals to advance their education, improve their craft, and develop professionally. The budget also includes funding for 10,000 new State Preschool Program (CSPP) spaces and 12,545 new child care spaces, which will enable thousands of children to learn and grow in safe, nurturing environments, while also supporting working parents. In addition, the budget includes $273 million for infrastructure grants, which will enable ECE providers to construct and expand child care and preschool facilities, and ultimately serve additional children.
Throughout the budget cycle, Child360 has worked tirelessly with our partners throughout the state to advocate for such investments! We held over 60 meetings with state legislative offices, provided public comment at budget and policy hearings; submitted letters of support, and carried support signs while joining in child care chants during rallies at the Capitol. We are pleased that our Governor is placing us on a path to caring for all of our children, with no exceptions. It is historic we have a governor who is demonstrating that children come first, and is putting the resources needed to fulfill that promise.
Key early childhood investments in the budget include:
- $195 million to provide tuition stipends, professional development, coaching and counseling to current and aspiring ECE professionals
- $273 million to construct, renovate, repair, modernize or retrofit child care and preschool facilities
- $143.3 million for 12,545 new Alternative Payment Program and General Child Care spaces
- 10,000 new full-day, full-year State Preschool slots in community-based organizations, beginning in April 2020
- $5 million to develop a strategic Master Plan for early learning and care
- $56.4 million in CalWORKs stage 1 child care that will allow 12 months of uninterrupted care for eligible children
- $300 million for full-day kindergarten program facilities
- $10 million to establish a cradle to career data system for state-funded ECE programs
- $2.2 million to establish a statewide Early Childhood Policy Council comprised of parent, workforce, and advocate advisory members who will inform the State’s Master Plan on early learning and care and equitable support for families and their children
- Over $135 million to expand state-funded home visiting programs that promote optimal child development for eligible CalWORKS and other low-income families
- Resources for lower-income parents, including: black infant health programs, developmental and trauma screenings, and temporary cash assistance to families with children to meet basic needs
- Sales and use tax exemption for diapers used by infants and toddlers
- 2 additional weeks of Paid Family Leave (PFL) for each parent or caretaker of a newborn child
Child360 applauds the Governor and the Legislature for demonstrating their commitment to supporting young children, working parents, and ECE professionals. Child360 looks forward to partnering with the Administration, the Legislature, fellow advocates and ECE stakeholders to support the forward movement of this bold vision.
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