On Wednesday, June 26, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the 2019-20 State Budget. This administration has consistently emphasized its commitment to Early Childhood Education (ECE). This was exhibited in early January, when Governor Newsom released his budget proposal, which featured ECE as the first subject area. Check out the video below and continue reading for a breakdown of the final budget agreement as it relates to the ECE community and what you can look forward to.
Increased Access to Early Care & Education Spaces
The budget includes $124.3 million for about 22,500 new early care and education spaces. Of that investment, $93.3 million is for Alternative Payment (AP) spaces, $50 million for General Child Care (GCC) spaces, and $31 million for full-day preschool.
A majority of the AP funding comes from Proposition 64 marijuana tax revenues, which was proposed by the Governor’s May Revise Budget. GCC will also be funded by Proposition 64 funding starting next year. This brings a new revenue stream to child care funding and we look forward to learning more about how it will grow long-term.
California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs)
Senator Mitchell’s Senate Bill 321 (SB 321) was approved in the state budget agreement, along with $56.4 million to fund the effort. SB 321 grants 12 months of continuous eligibility for full-time care through CalWORKs Stage 1 Child Care and allows child care to begin before parents engage in Welfare-to-Work activities. CCRC was proud to support this bill.
CalWORKs also saw an increase of $157.5 million for Stage 2 and 3 caseload adjustments.
The budget appropriates a $10.7 million increase to the CalWORKs Home Visiting Program and eliminated the prioritization of first time parents, which will open the program eligibility to all CalWORKs parents with a child under the age of 2. The budget allocates an additional $19.5 million for The Black Infant Health Program and an additional $23 million for the California Home Visiting Program.
One-Time Child Care Funds
The budget includes $195 million for the Early Learning and Care Workforce Development Grant and included an agreement to expand provider trainings and professional development opportunities. It also includes $263 million for child care facilities, $10 million for a data system for state-funded early childhood education programs, and $10 million to facilitate the collection of provider organizing information.
The Emergency Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children received an additional $10 million for child care vouchers. CCRC piloted the “Bridge Program,” which is now a statewide program which provides child care assistance and trauma-informed consulting to resource families taking in foster children.
The budget also includes $155 million for developmental and trauma screenings, $50 million for Child Savings Accounts, and increases paid family leave by two weeks for a total of eight weeks.
This historic state budget includes many victories for child care advocates. One remaining priority is reimbursement rate reform, which was included as a recommendation in the Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission’s final report. CCRC will continue to work with Senator Connie Leyva and Assemblymember Kevin McCarty on their legislation (Senate Bill 174 and Assembly Bill 125) to ensure adequate child care provider compensation.
This 2019-20 budget is a significant investment in early childhood education and family well-being programs. CCRC is grateful for the advocates, legislative staff, elected leaders and Governor Newsom for prioritizing these investments. There is still work to be done to increase access to child care and family support services to Californians, and we look forward continuing our partnership with key stakeholders.
For more information, please contact the Government Relations Department at [email protected].