Governor Brown’s 2017-18 Budget Proposal Regarding Child Care

Governor Breaks Agreement

to Increase Funding to Child Care

On January 11, Governor Brown released his proposed 2017-18 California State Budget with disappointing news for families who need help paying for child care.  Despite the Governor’s promise for a multi-year reinvestment in California’s child care, Brown did not propose any increases.  As Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), Chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus stated, “We fought for and were ensured increases would be realized for increased access, and this budget does not reflect that agreement.”

The Budget retains the increases in child care provider reimbursement rates and new state preschool openings that were funded last year.  However, the increases to funding for child care and early education that were scheduled to begin July 1, 2017 will be “paused until 2018-19.”  These delays apply to scheduled increases in child care provider reimbursement rates and state preschool openings. For the Standard Reimbursement Rate, the scheduled 10% increase has been rolled back to its current level of 7.5%.

What child care improvements are missing from the Governor’s budget proposal? For the tenth year in a row, there is no adjustment to the outdated state median income ceiling used to determine a family’s eligibility for child care assistance.  This adjustment is vital to supporting California’s working families. While the Governor proposes several changes to streamline child care programs, there is no funding to implement these changes.  These policy proposals include:

  • Allowing families to submit electronic applications to receive subsidized child care or preschool.
  • Aligning the definition of homelessness used for child care programs with the federal definition under the McKinney-Vento Act.
  • Increasing flexibility and reimbursement for part-day state preschool programs to enroll children with special needs.
  • Aligning state preschool and transitional kindergarten (TK) programs regarding staffing ratios and licensing requirements.

To view the child care provisions in the Governor’s 2017-18 proposed budget, pp. 29-31, click here.

 

The Child Care Law Center will continue to update you on Budget-related developments and on how you can take action.