Great news! On June 27, Governor Brown signed the 2016-17 state budget, which includes a significant multiyear investment, begin with an additional $147 million in 2016-17 that is expected to grow to more than $500 million in 2019-20, to increase early education opportunities and stabilize California’s early learning system for our young children and the adults who educate and care for them.
- Raises reimbursement rates for early childhood providers, in part to address the minimum wage increase, so they can cover the cost of their critical services
- Expands access to full-day state preschool for nearly 3,000 additional eligible children this year. Over four years, the state will add nearly 9000 additional children.
- Requires the California Department of Education to develop a new quality funding expenditure plan that shall prioritize activities that support the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS).
- Provides funds for the Los Angeles Trade-Tech Community College to offer job training, mentoring, and college courses through an early childhood apprenticeship program
In more good news, transitional kindergarten (TK) is officially safe and remains law! During the budget process, the Legislature rejected the proposal to merge early childhood funding and eliminate TK, a proven kindergarten readiness program. We thank them and the many K-12, early childhood, equity, faith, business, labor, and public safety leaders, and more than 3,200 mothers and other Californians, who voiced their support for TK.
This year’s investments were essential to stabilizing early learning programs, but there is more work ahead and we’re now well positioned to make greater progress in the future. We should aim to provide more young children with higher quality early experiences that support their development and learning for success in school and life. We should also ensure the adults working with children are truly supported and prepared to promote the best outcomes for young children. There’s already promise for the future with the development of the Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Care and Education, which will map out how we can better serve our children from birth to age 5.
Please join us in thanking policymakers for their staunch support for young children this year. We thank the Brown Administration for engaging in a meaningful conversation about early learning, legislative leadership for standing up for investments in children, and the Legislative Women’s Caucus for prioritizing children, parents and providers in the budget. We’re also grateful for the Legislature’s dedication to TK and for the Speaker’s commitment to establishing a forward-thinking Blue Ribbon Commission.
We look forward to continuing to build on the progress that California has made this year so that we can help lift families out of poverty, narrow the achievement gap, and set children on a path to success.
Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León: We made strategic investments in the most important asset that California has – the human capital of its people…9,000 pre-k slots plus expansion with regards to rates for child care—that is huge.
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon: Funding cuts to early childhood education were a major reason why I ran for office, so I’m enormously proud that my first budget as Speaker includes increases for these vital programs.
Senator Hannah Beth Jackson, Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus: I was very proud to cast my vote for a budget that includes two hard-fought priorities championed by the Women’s Caucus. For far too many families, the cost of child care is out of reach, rivaling college tuition or monthly rent. By investing and stabilizing our state supported child care system, we are ensuring that more parents can earn and children can learn and our child care workers are supported. Child care is education, and it is a sound and wise investment in our future. A strong start prevents costly academic interventions later on… There is more work to do, certainly on slots. We have 200,000 or more children on the waiting list for child care slots, but we have made a significant step over the last two years in recognizing and addressing that problem.
Assembly Member Cristina Garcia, Vice-Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus: We know that strengthening our early learning system is the state’s best poverty buster for this generation and the next…Creating quality jobs, not poverty jobs, for the child care givers who are overwhelmingly women and predominantly women of color, is common sense. We lose one-third of child care providers every year because our system doesn’t support them or enable them to provide for their own families. They also have no voice in a system where their expertise and input is sorely needed. The increases we fought for in this budget are tied to the minimum wage increases and data that is current and reflective of today’s needs. We believe this is the most significant increase women have seen in more than a decade.
Assembly Member Phil Ting, Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee: We were able to deliver $400 million for early education and daycare slots – the very slots that are needed so our families can go to work. Like many of you here, I have children, and if I didn’t have access to child care like many Californians don’t, I wouldn’t be able to be here today, wouldn’t be able to do the work that I choose to do. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to be able to work, like so many families are trying to do. In addition, we created 9,000 more slots for full day preschool. $100 million that invests in preschool slots, so we can move closer to our goal of universal preschool for each and every single student that’s 4 years old in California.
Assembly Member Kevin McCarty, Chair of the Assembly Subcommittee 2 on Education Finance: This budget frankly follows the famous wisdom from Frederick Douglass who told us over a century ago that it’s easier to build a strong child than to fix broken men and women…Our preschool for all promise years ago moves forward with 9,000 new preschool slots, our child care and preschool programs are more viable now with a rate increase that allows them to serve our communities and kids, and we focus on quality because we know that the preschool programs and early childhood education programs that biggest results have strong quality elements.
Senator Mark Leno, Chair of the Senate Budget Committee: The Legislature has approved an on-time, balanced budget that makes targeted reinvestments in our social safety net, increases education funding and sets aside a solid reserve for any future economic uncertainties. Our expenditure plan funds anti-poverty programs, child care and education. It also includes resources to combat homelessness, support low-income working families and improve college readiness and enrollment. Additionally, we increase child care rates and preschool slots and invest in criminal justice programs that will reduce our jail and prison populations while rehabilitating offenders to keep our communities safer."
Senator Jim Beall: With this budget, we are laying down a solid foundation for students to excel by restoring funding for childcare and pre-school programs so children will be better prepared when they enter classrooms.
Senator Connie Leyva: [Yesterday’s] approved budget includes important investments to help address poverty and homelessness issues in California. This budget also prioritizes K-12 education by increasing funding levels for schools, as well as supporting early childhood education, college readiness and higher education. Specifically, I am pleased that the budget includes $200 million for community colleges to implement the Strong Workforce program to increase and improve career technical education courses.
Senator Janet Nguyen: I am pleased the 2016 Budget prioritizes funding for child care to assist families facing the pressures of accessing quality child care.
Assembly Member Catharine Baker: While I could not support SB 826, the budget bill in chief, I was pleased to support K-12 budget bill, SB 828. This bill accelerates the implementation of LCFF to bring schools to 96% of their funding targets; addresses the teacher shortage crisis by funding teacher credentialing and career programs; and increases reimbursement rates for child care.
Assembly Member David Chiu: I proudly voted for this budget because it reflects the reality that we must invest in the success of Californians even while we plan for the tough fiscal times we know will return. From child care to education to health care, this budget will help create opportunities for people to achieve their goals.
Assembly Member Ed Chau: This Budget also marks California’s continued commitment to future generations by increasing Child Care and Pre School funding by over $530 million once fully phased in, and making investments in higher education to increase enrollment rates and shorten the time it takes to graduate by providing $25 million to the CSU and $20 million to the UC.
Assembly Member Rich Gordon: This budget reflects how serious we are about investing in securing our future. Not only did we opt to deposit an extra $2 billion in our Rainy Day Fund, but we are investing in children under the age of five. If we support our children early on, they will grow to power our future economic engine.
Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez: [Yesterday] we passed a budget that uniquely addresses the needs of many Californians who have too often been left out of our fiscal priorities, while continuing our efforts to put away money for a rainy day. I am especially proud to have served on the budget conference committee that negotiated a $527 million increase in early childhood education funding, opening up the opportunity for thousands more of our children to attend preschool. I look forward to continuing to work to ensure that one day, every family in California will have access to affordable, high-quality, childcare and preschool, but we took a giant step forward by passing this budget [yesterday].
Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell: As Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, my top priority is restoring California’s reputation as a global leader in education. This budget takes us a step closer by fostering greater access to preschool and child care services, dedicating new investments for career technical education, as well as allocating funds to increase enrollment at UC, CSU and community colleges.
Assembly Member Kristin Olsen (in support of the omnibus education trailer bill): I know I’ve been a broken record for now I guess six years in a row talking about the need for us as a state to truly prioritize education funding, and this budget does that...It provides money for child care…and that money is so important to allow parents to work and be contributors to the workforce. It also provides…more slots for preschool. This is a good budget.
Assembly Member Rudy Salas: This budget continues to increase funding for public schools, higher education, childcare, seniors, and public safety improvements. We are building up the largest reserves in state history to protect from future economic downturns and reinvesting in programs that help communities make ends meet.
Assembly Member Mark Stone: We are helping lift more Californians out of poverty by allocating $240 million to benefit our state’s poorest families by repealing the Maximum Family Grant, an unjust rule that contributed to a generation of childhood poverty. This repeal acknowledges this injustice and will help reduce inequality amongst Californians. We also increased access to childcare and preschool for families with a $530 million investment. Overall, my voice, and by extension, the voices of my constituents in the 29th Assembly District, was heard throughout the budget process.
Assembly Member Ridley-Thomas: To our Speaker, who has a great deal to advance the cause of early childhood education, Mr. Speaker and colleagues, we are in a debt of gratitude. Frankly it helps distinguish the Assembly in terms of our work because of the significance of the advancement made in early childhood education
Deborah Kong, President of Early Edge California: By approving this budget deal that expands early childhood opportunities and sustains the infrastructure of early education and care programs, the Legislature continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to California’s young children and the adults who educate and care for them. From the Legislature protecting transitional kindergarten, to the Legislative Women’s Caucus prioritizing children in the budget, to the Assembly Speaker establishing a forward-thinking Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Care and Education in the near future, legislators this year unwaveringly stood by our young children and families.
Camille Maben, Executive Director of First 5 California: This year's focus on rebuilding the foundation of our child care and early learning system - the per child funding rate - with a multi-year commitment is a necessary step to help our system recover from the Great Recession. We look forward to working with the Legislature and Governor Brown in the months ahead to tackle outstanding issues within our existing programs, including family income eligibility and continuity of care, as addressed by AB 2150 (Santiago). We will continue to work diligently to establish additional resources in future budgets that address the still-desperate gaps in access low-income babies and young children face to high-quality child care.
Kim Belshé, Executive Director of First 5 LA: We want to thank Governor Brown, Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senate Pro Tem Kevin De Leon and the Budget Conference Committee for making young children a priority. We also particularly want to thank members of the Legislative Women’s Caucus who have made early childhood issues a centerpiece of their agenda and have committed to fight for more investments and for making improvements to these programs so they best serve the needs of children and their families. California still has not returned to the level of investments in children it was making before the recession, nonetheless this budget increase is certainly a step in the right direction. There are thousands more children who would benefit from a high-quality early education and the early childhood workforce deserves to receive the wages and professional development equal to their education and training.
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