Thanks to the tireless work of child care providers, the Child Care Providers United (CCPU) and advocates like Child Care Resource Center, Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday signed an historic budget bill that invests in the future of child care and early childhood education.
The bill provides additional child care slots, facilities and workforce development grants, Family Child Care provider stipends, and an increased allotment of non-operational days.
During the virtual signing event, CCPU members, providers and lawmakers highlighted the importance of this budget bill.
“This investment is critical to our state economy, but really this is about ensuring we start to value the professionals who take care of our kids on a regular basis,” says Assembly Member Cristina Garcia. “(Providers) have been undervalued and underappreciated for a long time but today, with this contract and this bill, we’re saying we see you and value you.”
Some highlights of that investment include:
- The addition of 200,000 new child care slots, starting with 120,000 child care slots and an additional 80,000 over four years.
- Rate reform that aligns all child care and preschool program, including school-based, to the Regional Market Rate. Rate reform will be adopted for all child care programs and implemented in 2023. (Timing of payments and payment delivery methods will be shared as we receive it.)
- Stabilize providers and the child care industry through one time stipends of $600/child enrolled in a subsidized child care or state preschool program, $3,500 to all licensed family child care home providers, and up to $6,000 for licensed centers (based on capacity).
- Total of 16 paid non-operational days.
CCRC President and CEO Dr. Michael Olenick thanked the governor for signing the budget.
“We have never seen such a large state investment in our youngest children,” Dr. Olenick says. “Congratulations to the Women’s Caucus, especially our own Senator Connie Leyva and Assembly Member Eloise Gomez Reyes, the Child Care Providers United, the ECE Coalition and our own Government Relations staff for their hard work in making this happen.”
Miren Algorri, a child care provider and CCPU member, shared her experience as a second generation child care provider and said she’s encouraged to know child care providers won’t face as difficult a financial struggle as her mother did.
“Today’s gathering is about so much more than a bill signing and so much ensuring funding for our tentative agreement, it’s about providers and our state working together to ensure more children start school ready to learn,” Miren says. “We know access to child care will be essential to the economic recovery from COVID-19.”
To close out the signing event, Gov. Newsom shared that he understands the value of quality child care because his mother had two children by age 20.
“I’m proud that California is doing it, we’re not waiting – we talk often about California’s demonstrable leadership and that leadership is alive and well in California, not just opening more opportunities for slots but rates and training. There are 2.6 billion reasons why we’re really proud this year,” Newsom said, noting the $2.6 billion allotted for new child care slots and rate increases.