Statement from Early Edge California Executive Director, Patricia Lozano to Governor’s 2019-2020 Budget
January 10, 2019 – What a great way to jump-start the American dream for California families! Governor Newsom’s historic proposal to make close to $2.4 billion in early childhood investments is quickly and forcefully proving he is a champion for young kids and working families. We applaud the Governor for making good on his campaign promise to invest in Early Learning programs that will give families a chance to provide their children with the opportunity to succeed. By focusing on the early years, when more than 1 million new neural connections are formed every second, and when quality learning interactions and experiences are crucial, this budget proposal invests in kids at the life stage that offers them the greatest benefits.
As a former preschool teacher, I saw firsthand what poverty, food insecurity and homelessness could do to a young child’s chances in life, and I saw the struggles of working parents who didn’t know how or where to go for services to help give their kids the best start. In generations past, America’s public education system was the great equalizer, lifting families out of poverty and into a better future. But years of inadequate investments in the early years have made the American Dream harder to reach for countless parents who – like all of us – just want the best for their kids.
Governor Newsom’s budget proposal invests in key areas that will help to increase access to quality Early Learning for California’s working families. The budget proposes to increase state investment in training for Early Learning teachers, which research shows is critical to quality Early Learning. Furthermore, the Governor proposes to expand the availability of full-day Pre-K for all low-income four-year-olds, so that working parents will no longer have to choose between a job that puts food on the table and giving their young kids the skills they need to succeed in school and in life.
These proposals are an important first step in reversing years of policies that have overlooked the needs of California’s youngest learners. We at Early Edge California look forward to partnering with our new Governor and our state lawmakers to transform California’s Early Learning system. Through sustained investment and smart policies, California can reclaim its position as the country’s leader in education. We must do all that we can today, now, this instant – so that every kid in California has a brighter future tomorrow.
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.