Early Edge California, Kidango, CSEA, and San Diego Unified School District Celebrate Tremendous Investment in California’s Early Learning and Care System
SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, leading early learning advocates, Early Edge California, Kidango, the California School Employees Association (CSEA), and San Diego Unified School District, are celebrating Governor Gavin Newsom’s signing of the 2021-22 state budget which provides unprecedented support for Early Learning and Care in California. This year’s budget makes historic investments in universal Transitional Kindergarten (TK) as well as other areas of the state’s Early Learning and Care system. We recognize the Governor’s unwavering commitment from day one in office to supporting the ‘whole child’, which he has reinforced with the release of his Master Plan for Early Learning and Care in December 2020, his unveiling of this year’s budget proposal, and now his signing of the final budget.
The Governor’s partnership with the California Legislature has led to a final budget agreement that provides critical funding to support children, working families, and teachers including:
- The expansion of TK to serve all 4-year-olds starting in 2022-23 and reaching full implementation by the 2025-26 school year. The budget also makes quality improvements to TK, such as lowering child-adult ratios to 12:1 for 2022-23 and to 10:1 starting in 2023-24.
- The authorization for the California State Preschool Program (CSPP) contracting agencies to offer wraparound child care services for eligible children enrolled in TK or K-12.
- Parent ability to choose which Early Learning and Care program best serves their 4-year-old.
- $300M to establish the California Prekindergarten Planning and Implementation Grant Program to support expansion and access to classroom-based Pre-K programs at school districts and increase the number of highly-qualified teachers.
- Authorization of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to convene a group of stakeholders to assess TK credentialing requirements and align them with the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care.
The Governor has also signaled that he will sign a number of other bills that will be presented to him later this week including AB 131, a trailer bill which makes huge strides for child care in California including in the areas of reimbursement rates, child care slots, family fees, and formalizing a new agreement with Child Care Providers Union (CCPU):
- $840M to increase reimbursement rates for all providers to the 75th percentile of the 2018 RMR survey starting on January 1, 2022.
- An additional $189M to provide rate supplements starting January 1, 2022.
- $533M in FY 2021-22 to increase child care slots which includes:
- $403M for child care slots (General Child Care and Alternative Payment)
- $130M for CSPP
- $336M to continue providing increased slots in FY 2022-23.
- Waiving family fees through 2021-22.
- Ratifies bargaining agreements from CCPU, which include increased reimbursement rates and a continuation of policies to provide health and financial protections to providers impacted by COVID-19.
California’s 2021-2022 budget aligns with the Biden-Harris Administration’s proposals for investment in Early Learning and Care and families, found in its American Families Plan, which includes $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.
“The Governor and legislative leaders have shown true leadership in providing substantial funding in this budget to ensure every child has access to free universal Transitional Kindergarten. This means more of California’s youngest kids will have access to quality care and an Early Learning experience that can set them up for success for the rest of their lives. This budget delivers on the promise of creating equity in Early Learning and Care and Governor Newsom’s signing of it into law sets California down a hopeful path for the future of its children,” said Patricia Lozano, Executive Director of Early Edge California.
“With this budget, Governor Newsom and legislators have transformed the lives of young children, their families, and their teachers. Simply put, California will become the best state in the nation to raise a child. Every child will get one year of Pre-K, most low-income children will get at least two years of Pre-K, plus a historic increase in infant-toddler child care. Child care and Pre-K teachers will take a big step towards the professional wage they so deserve. Now the work begins to turn the promise of high quality Pre-K and child care into the reality that every young child is ready for success in school and life,” said Scott Moore, CEO of Kidango.
“We are thrilled to see this budget expand transitional kindergarten to all California four-year-olds. The commitment by Governor Newsom and the Legislature 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. CSEA has championed this program for years 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,” said Association President Ben Valedepeña, California School Employees Association (CSEA).
“San Diego Unified is thrilled to see the adoption of a final State Budget that is transformative and outlines a long-term vision for California’s earliest learners. Closing achievement gaps before they even open begins by ensuring that every child has an early start to their education and an opportunity to succeed. The adoption of universal TK moves us in this direction, and we thank the Governor and the Legislature for their leadership and for making universal TK a priority,” said Richard Barrera, President of the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education.
We thank Governor Newsom and the California Legislature for coming together around a final budget that supports children, families, and teachers through the recovery from the pandemic and towards a successful future. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Governor Newsom, his Administration, and the California Legislature in implementing the state’s budget for 2021-22.
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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.
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.