Take Action To Support Improved Access to Child Care and Preschool!
Over the next few weeks policymakers have the opportunity to make key decisions that could improve access to quality child care and preschool programs. These decisions could make dramatic differences for California’s most vulnerable children and their families.
That's why a diverse range of organizations -- including child care, preschool, business, labor, education, and community groups -- are coming together to send a strong message to policymakers.
Your support is critical.
Join us in showing policymakers the broad and strong support for critical changes to our child care and preschool system. Please take a moment to sign your organization on to the letter below.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Dear Governor Brown, Legislative Leadership, and Budget Conferees:
As you head into the final stages of the state budget process, our organizations – representing key child care, preschool, business, labor, education, and community groups – urge you to continue to step up for California’s youngest children and working families who need quality early care.
We are thankful to see the May Revise Budget restore the multi-year agreement state leaders made last year to address the reimbursement rate crisis affecting early learning providers and make steady progress toward the state’s long-term goal of preschool access for all low-income children. While this budget proposal prevents undue harm to our early learning system, great unmet need remains in all parts of California. Today, two parents working full-time minimum-wage jobs earn “too much” to qualify for child care assistance, and 70,000 fewer children are served today than in 2007. The crisis is particularly acute for infants and toddlers—an estimated 90% of eligible babies are currently not served.
At a time when the typical single mother in California has to spend two-thirds of her paycheck on child care, when the cost of housing spirals out of too many people’s reach and when income inequality continues to widen, our state needs to be addressing fundamental causes of inequity and supporting services that help families move out of poverty. Investments in high-quality early childhood programs are an essential, and proven, tool to fighting social and economic inequity.
We request you first and foremost address the unintended consequence of the minimum wage increase and adopt: Crucial child care and preschool eligibility policies, including a continuous 12-month eligibility period, income eligibility guidelines based on current State Median Income (SMI) data, and increased exit eligibility levels.
Following the above foundational policy change we request you take steps to address the unmet need for child care and preschool by:
Increasing funding for the General Child Care and Alternative Payment programs to ensure flexible child care spaces are available to more infants and toddlers.
Enacting the May Revise commitment to expand the State Preschool Program, ensuring those spaces are full-day and can be utilized by non-LEA providers as well.
We thank you for supporting our state’s youngest children and their families and respectfully ask you to continue to be a strong, vocal champion on their behalf.