Early Edge California, Kidango, CSEA, and San Diego Unified School District Celebrate Historic Investment for California’s Early Learning and Care System
SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, leading early learning advocates, including Early Edge California, Kidango, the California School Employees Association (CSEA), and San Diego Unified School District applaud Governor Gavin Newsom’s May Budget Revision proposal to include significant funding for Universal Transitional Kindergarten (TK) as well as other major investments in the state’s Early Learning and Care system. The Newsom Administration has remained committed to educating and supporting the ‘whole child,’ building on the Governor’s Master Plan for Early Learning and Care released in December 2020.
In his May Budget Revision, as part of his California Comeback Plan, the Governor has committed to making historic investments to support children and working families, which include:
- $2.7 billion to expand TK to serve all 4-year-olds starting in 2022-23, with full implementation by 2024-25. TK child-teacher ratios will also be cut in half to provide a developmentally appropriate learning environment with a total ongoing investment of $740 million.
- $10 million for the California Department of Education to update the Preschool Learning Foundations to reflect the most recent research on early childhood development and provide comprehensive resources for pre-kindergarten teachers.
- Expansion of subsidized child care slots by 100,000 to address immediate needs, with an additional ongoing $83 million for child care slots in 2021-22. These funds will provide for an additional 6,500 new child care slots.
- Waiving family fees until 2022 to ensure all families have access to child care.
- $250 million to provide infrastructure grants to develop child care facilities, prioritizing desert areas.
- $20 million to support a multi-year effort to strengthen existing child care quality improvement supports and systems, with a focus on addressing inequities.
- $10.6 million for early childhood mental health consultation, which will support child care programs and providers on such topics as children’s social-emotional development, trauma-informed practices, and health and safety for the wellbeing of children and families.
- After-school and summer programs for all elementary school students in low-income communities.
- $3.3 billion to support teacher preparedness grant and residency programs with a focus on supporting our low-income communities.
- Extension of hold harmless for child care providers until 2022 to ensure they have necessary support as they recover from the pandemic.
This proposal complements the Biden-Harris Administration’s American Families Plan, which included $200 billion to expand Pre-K to all 3- and 4-year-olds and $225 billion to increase access to high-quality, affordable child care for young children.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with Governor Newsom’s game-changing budget for Early Learning in California. This is a truly historic commitment to California’s kids and their families. After a devastating pandemic that left millions of kids behind, this critical investment in our youngest kids will ensure a promising future for those who have been most vulnerable. We applaud President Biden, Governor Newsom, and the California Legislature for their strong commitment to Early Learning and Pre-K for All,” said Patricia Lozano, Executive Director of Early Edge California.
“Gavin Newsom ran for governor with a transformative vision for helping families raise young children through universal Pre-K, expanded child care, and paid family leave. Today that vision is laid clear, and if it comes to pass, California will be the nation’s best state to raise a child,” said Scott Moore, CEO of Kidango.
“We are excited to see the Governor prioritize Transitional Kindergarten in his budget proposal, expanding this program to all California four-year-olds. CSEA is an original sponsor of this effort because our members understand the importance of providing young children a consistent learning environment that is staffed with professionals who can identify the unique learning needs of each student. The commitment by Governor Newsom to provide quality, consistent, and professional early education to our youngest learners will give them an educational foundation that will prepare them for future educational and personal success,” said Association President Ben Valdepeña, California School Employees Association.
“One of our values at San Diego Unified is to make sure every child can succeed. This is why we started on a journey to advocate for and implement Universal Transitional Kindergarten. We don’t walk away from our values, and so we thank the Governor for recognizing that and making this issue a State Budget priority,” said Richard Barrera, President of the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education.
We thank Governor Newsom for staying true to his commitment to Early Learning and Care by proposing this historic and bold investment! We are thrilled to see children, families, and teachers uplifted in this way and believe these current investments make critical strides in advancing them on a path to success and California towards a brighter future. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Governor Newsom, his Administration, and the California Legislature in implementing his proposed budget for 2021-22.
# # #
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.
About the California School Employees Association: Founded in 1927 by a small group of Oakland custodians focused on securing retirement benefits, the California School Employees Association is the largest classified school employee union in the United States. The member-run organization represents a quarter million school support staff who perform a wide range of essential work, including security, food services, and paraeducator services in kindergarten through 12th grade, Community Colleges, and County Offices of Education.
With more than 100,000 students and some 14,000 employees, San Diego Unified School District is California’s second-largest district. San Diego Unified is a leader among urban districts when it comes to academic performance, equity, and financial stability. San Diego Unified is a majority-minority district (53 percent African American and Latino) and nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of all students qualify for free and reduced lunch status based on family income. San Diego Unified is home to the largest military installation in the nation, creating unique demands on its educational programs, including its Early Learning program. San Diego Unified provides extensive wrap-around services for families.