Leading Children’s Organizations Early Edge California and Kidango Praise California’s Governor and Legislature for Agreeing on a Budget that Preserves Early Learning Programs
SACRAMENTO, CA – California’s State Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom worked through the weekend to negotiate the State budget for 2020-21. The final agreement, which was released last night, protects crucial investments for our youngest children while balancing the budget in the face of substantial shortfalls.
“Our state lawmakers and Governor Newsom deserve the highest praise for reaching a budget agreement that preserves California’s child care and Early Learning system,” said Patricia Lozano, Executive Director of Early Edge California. “This unprecedented health pandemic and its grip on state, local, and personal economies highlights how vital high-quality child care and Early Learning programs are not just for children, but for parents, communities, and the state as a whole. We applaud our leaders for working tirelessly to protect this important social and economic safety net for the millions of Californians who rely on it each day.”
“We are glad that the Governor and the Legislature have recognized that preserving funding for child care is essential to enable parents to work and ensure the safe and healthy development of our children,” said Scott Moore, CEO of Kidango. “The state’s commitment to protecting the child care infrastructure is a key step to enabling child care providers to address the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic well-being of families and the development and mental health of our youngest children.”
The key features of the early childhood budget agreement include:
- Preserves provider reimbursement rates at their current levels.
- Holds harmless all state-subsidized child care programs for attendance if open and holds harmless all direct-contract providers if closed due to public health order, as long as distance learning is provided.
- Appropriates $198 million in federal CARES Act funding:
- $125 million to open or soon-to-reopen Alternative Payment, Migrant Child Care, and CalWORKS providers to provide financial assistance for hardships related to COVID-19.
- $73 million to Alternative Payment programs to extend child care services for an additional 90 days to children of essential workers, at-risk children and children with disabilities or with special health care needs.
- Establishes priorities for future federal funds, including:
- Up to $100 million for Alternative Payment programs to extend child care services first to essential workers, at-risk children, children with disabilities or with special health care needs.
- Up to $50 million for General Child Care State Preschool Program contractors to increase capacity over two years with first priority to increase capacity to serve infants and toddlers, second priority to increase capacity for full-day state preschool, and third priority for both general child care and preschool providers.
- Up to $25 million for stipends to assist licensed child care homes and center-based programs that closed as a result of COVID-19 in re-opening.
- Up to $125 million for stipends for all subsidized child care providers to help defray increases to the cost of care incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic period.
- Transfers multiple child development programs and federal child care program responsibilities from the Department of Education to the Department of Social Services and establishes a governor-appointed Deputy Director position to aid in the administration of the consolidated programs.
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.