Child Care Centers (CCCs) in California are required by the state to test their water for lead and new funding is now available to help cover that cost.
Child Care Resource Center is encouraging providers across Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties to apply for the grant.
Assembly Bill (AB) 2370 stipulates that all CCCs in California must have their water tested for lead before Jan. 1, 2023. The state mandate does not apply to Family Child Care (FCC).
CCCs operating in buildings constructed prior to Jan. 1, 2010 must have their drinking water tested for excessive lead levels. Children younger than 6 are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal. If lead levels in water are deemed excessive, centers will be required to take further action, such as replacing fixtures with new fixtures containing no lead or removing the fixtures from use as a drinking or cooking water supply. The state senate approved $5 million in funds for the State Water Resources Control Board to assist CCCs in meeting the requirements of AB 2370, including funds for testing, fixture replacement and retesting of CCCs.
Child care providers will be contacted via email by the Office of Water Programs (OWP) at Cal State University in Sacramento about applying for the grant. In order to accept the limited funds available for the lead testing, providers should respond to the OWP.
Priority for funding will be given to providers with infants and toddlers but all providers should apply. Providers with over half the children in their facility receiving subsidized care will also be given preference.
The first step for CCCs to be considered for this funding is to complete the Eligibility Form by looking up your CCC through the OWP website.
Final prioritization for funding assistance will be made by January 15th, 2022.