AB435 will improve child care subsidies in Contra Costa

Well, we’re one for one!

Last week, Governor Brown signed  AB435 (Thurmond), which will provide much needed relief to subsidized child care systems in Contra Costa, Marin and Sonoma Counties, where the high-cost of doing business leaves many providers struggling to keep their doors open, and many low-income families without quality child care for their children.

AB435 was our first time co-sponsoring legislation. What a great start as we develop our growing role as a pro-active advocacy organization.

AB435 will provide Contra Costa, Marin and Sonoma Counties with more flexibility in using state-allocated child care subsidy funds for low-income children. The current system, which undercompensates Bay Area child care providers and underserves low-income children, results in millions of dollars in child care subsidies returned to the state. Combined, the three counties returned $4.5 million in 2015.

Now because of the bill, by 2019, subsidy programs in these counties will have the flexibility to increase income eligibility guidelines and serve more children, offer higher reimbursement rates to providers, and contract with programs that can fully use available subsidies.

We were proud to work on AB435 with Assemblymember Thurmond and the Contra Costa County Office of Education. We are also incredibly grateful to our many partners who supported this bill and helped push it over the finish line. We’ll be working hard over the next several months to develop our plan for implementing the bill.

AB435 will be a powerful tool for Bay Area early learning systems to ensure that every dollar allocated is spent and as many children as possible get the high-quality child care experience they deserve.

We Need to Invest in Little Kids, Too

childcareblogThe annual State of American Preschool report found that state spending for preschool is at its lowest level in a decade.

Years of state budget cuts, coupled with the sequestration, have decimated the infrastructure of the nation’s early care and education systems. California alone has reduced its early education budget by more than a $1 billion in recent years resulting in 110,000 children losing child care and preschool.

With the release of his May Revise to the 2013-14 state Budget yesterday, Governor Brown isn’t proposing to restore and rebuild California’s child care system any time soon.

Continue reading

Your Story Matters: The Local Impact of Child Care Cuts

The good news is that State leaders have taken action in recent weeks to prevent a number of Governor Brown’s proposed cuts to children’s programs.

The California State Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, chaired by Concord’s Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, voted to reject the governor’s budget proposals to eliminate transitional kindergarten and to realign child care to the county welfare departments. These are positive first steps in addressing a number of the Governor’s proposals that would be devastating for low-income children and families. Continue reading

Brown’s Budget Devastating for Children and Families

We all knew that the State budget for the coming fiscal year would be as challenging as those in previous years. But I don’t think anyone imagined the sweeping cuts aimed at the poor and their children proposed by the Governor. Reducing the CalWorks budget by $1 billion, with additional cuts to subsidized child care of over half a billion, the Governor proposes setting back the safety net to a time well before President Clinton promised “an end to welfare as we know it.” Continue reading