Leading Children’s Organizations Early Edge California and Kidango Support Proposed Legislation to Expand Universal Transitional Kindergarten to all 4-year-olds in California and Strengthen the Birth to 5 Early Learning and Care System
Organizations Urge Support for AB 22 (McCarty), Part of a 2021 Legislative Package to Establish a High-quality, Whole-child, Mixed-delivery Early Learning and Care System for Children Birth to 5
Early Edge California joined Asm. Kevin McCarty and other Early Learning champions from the California Legislature as well as fellow advocates for a virtual press conference on Dec. 8, 2020 to introduce the Early Learning and care legislative package. Watch the full event.
SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, children’s organizations Early Edge California and Kidango are coming together to support new legislation introduced by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) that will ensure every child in California has access to at least one year of high-quality Pre-K, while expanding early learning options for the infants, toddlers, and 3-year-olds who need it most.
AB 22 (McCarty) expands Universal Transitional Kindergarten (UTK) to all 4-year-olds, while also working to improve the quality of California’s existing TK program in a number of ways. It will reduce class size to provide children with opportunities for meaningful interactions with their teachers to support their development. AB 22 will also provide support for career advancement to teachers who want to build their skills. And, the bill will standardize the TK curriculum across California to ensure that all programs provide the critical bridge between preschool and kindergarten.
AB 22 is part of a package of legislation that was introduced today to establish a high-quality, whole-child, mixed-delivery system of Early Learning and Care. The package aligns with recommendations in the Governor’s recently released Master Plan for Early Learning and Care. Other legislation in the package includes:
- SB 50 (Limón): to establish the California Early Learning and Care Program to create a seamless, integrated, mixed-delivery, whole-child, 2-generation early learning and care system from birth to school-age to advance the state’s Master Plan for Early Learning and Care.
- Rate Reform: to address inadequate funding for the child care system and the need to pay fair wages for a high-quality early learning and care. Legislation and Budget action to follow.
- AB 92 (Asm. Reyes): Preschool & Child care & development services: to alleviate the burden of family fees for low-income families.
- Preschool Expulsion Ban (Asm. Rubio): Prohibits expulsions in subsidized early learning programs and strengthens Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation for the state’s ECE educators.
- Mandatory Kindergarten (Senator Rubio): Makes kindergarten compulsory.
“Now more than ever we need to take actions to rebuild our Early Learning system. Our kids and their teachers need it. AB 22 will start us on this process by providing Universal Pre-K for 4-year-olds. Let’s work with our Governor and the Legislature to make this happen,” said Patricia Lozano, Executive Director of Early Edge California.
“We have a historic opportunity to provide California’s children and families with the early learning and care they need to thrive and be ready for school. This is the time for the Legislature, the Administration, and our early learning and K-12 education fields to come together to make early childhood a top priority so we can set our children and our state on the path toward success,” said Scott Moore, CEO of Kidango.
“We’ve seen that more than ever during this pandemic, our child care system is the backbone of our society. But it has not always been supported, and that’s why this bill package is so crucial. These legislative and budget policies will build on what works in our child care system, and make it stronger,” said Assemblymember McCarty (D- Sacramento).
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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.
Kidango is an Early Learning nonprofit committed to setting every child on a path to thrive in Kindergarten and in life. As the largest childcare provider in the San Francisco Bay Area, we provide thousands of children, especially those from low-income families, with safe, healthy, nurturing environments and relationships. Our goal is to make sure all children have the social, emotional, and academic skills they need to learn, grow and realize their potential.