SACRAMENTO, CA – Early Learning advocacy organization Early Edge California applauds Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature for reaching a 2023-24 budget agreement that preserves key Early Learning and Care investments in California, despite a budget deficit. They have agreed to continue the Governor’s 2021 Budget investment to make preschool free for all four-year-olds by funding the expansion of Transitional Kindergarten. In addition, the budget provides temporary rate increases to child care providers and commits to developing an alternative methodology to our reimbursement rate system. These investments reinforce California’s strong commitment to our youngest learners and the adults who support them.
Other key investments in the budget agreement that will support children, families, and educators include:
- An investment of $1.4 billion over two years to supplement reimbursement for all subsidized child care providers, subject to collective bargaining negotiations.
- Ensuring family fees will not be more than 1 percent of a family’s monthly income and charging no family fee for families whose adjusted monthly family income is below 75 percent of the state median family income, starting October 1, 2023.
- An investment of $20 million to support the Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program to help address the shortage of qualified bilingual teachers by supporting them with grants to receive their bilingual authorization to teach in bilingual classrooms.
- Authorizing the Department of Social Services to develop an alternative methodology to California’s reimbursement rate system in order to provide a more equitable reimbursement rate system that works towards covering the real cost of providing state-subsidized child care.
“We appreciate Governor Newsom and the California Legislature’s continued commitment to California’s young children and their families. The historic Transitional Kindergarten investment to serve all 4-year-olds is critical, ensuring all future generations of children in our state have access to at least one year of free, high-quality preschool. In addition, eliminating family fees is a huge win for our working families and increasing reimbursement rates for child care providers is an encouraging and exciting next step for the Early Learning workforce,” said Patricia Lozano, Executive Director of Early Edge California.
Early Edge thanks Governor Newsom and the California Legislature for working together to reach a final budget agreement that continues to invest in Early Learning and Care, particularly during a year when California faces a challenging budget deficit. We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor, his Administration, and the Legislature in the coming year to support the diverse needs of our state’s children and families.
Early Edge’s more in-depth overview of the Early Learning and Care investments in the final 2023-24 budget agreement will be released in the coming weeks.
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Early Edge California is a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to improving access to high-quality Early Learning experiences for all California children so they can have a strong foundation for future success.