Leading Early Learning Advocacy Organizations Urge Protection of California’s Early Learning and Care System
SACRAMENTO, CA – Yesterday, Governor Newsom released his May Revision which reflects the severity of California’s budget deficit which could significantly impact early learning and care programs for the state’s most vulnerable children and families if additional federal funds are not secured. Leading early learning advocacy organizations Early Edge California and Kidango expressed concerns over the impact that budget cuts would have on California’s youngest learners and their teachers and families. COVID-19 has dramatically underscored that early learning and child care programs are essential for parents to go back to work, for our economy to function, and for our children to learn and grow.
We understand that difficult decisions are necessary to address the state’s deepening fiscal crisis, but devastating cuts to child care providers, their students, and their families will only increase existing inequities. We are concerned about the proposed 10 percent cut to the reimbursement rate for state-subsidized child care and preschool providers, and that the Governor’s May Revision pauses his planned early education investments and progress toward universal preschool. However, we appreciate the Governor’s effort to protect access to early learning and care programs for families and we stand behind him in his demand for federal assistance to prevent deep cuts. We also support the Governor’s proposal of centralizing the management of early learning and care programs by transitioning child care to the Department of Social Services.
“We appreciate Governor Newsom’s efforts in maintaining access to early learning programs and his unwavering support for California’s youngest kids and their parents. It’s deeply unfortunate that California has had to pull back vitally important early learning investments from the January budget, but it’s clear we are in unprecedented times and we all must adjust to the new realities. Early Edge remains committed to working with Governor Newsom and the Legislature to protect our hard won early learning programs and to dedicate funds for Dual Language Learners,” said Patricia Lozano, Executive Director of Early Edge California.
“The COVID-19 pandemic will have enduring impacts on young children including gaps in early childhood development, child trauma, and economic insecurity for families — and California needs an early learning and care system that is up to the task of mitigating the harms of the pandemic. We know this state budget will require tough choices — but encourage the Governor and Legislature to protect early learning programs from cuts that will undermine their ability to serve our youngest children and their families,” said Scott Moore, CEO of Kidango.
In order to truly close the achievement gap in California and provide equal opportunity to all students, we need to provide critical resources during the earliest stages of life. This is even more essential during times of crisis when working parents are left to figure out how to best care for their children at home. There are even more difficulties for families whose employment has all but disappeared. COVID-19 has illuminated the achievement gap that so many families already know too well. Without immediate resources, access to equitable education will be all but lost to our youngest and most vulnerable learners and their families.
Early Edge California and Kidango plan to work with Governor Newsom, his Administration, the Legislature, and our federal Congressional delegation to protect funding and ensure that our youngest and most vulnerable learners and the teachers who support them have the resources necessary to thrive.
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.