Conference Committee Deal Reached

June 12, 2017

The California Budget Conference Committee has finalized a deal on new spending for child care, preschool, and after-school programs.

The budget deal includes sufficient funding to update family income guidelines for families receiving affordable child care subsidies.

Child care reimbursement rates will be also updated to help meet the new minimum wages, per last year’s budget agreement, which Governor Brown had initially considered “pausing” this year.

A not-yet-finalized list of Budget Conference Committee recommendations is:

  • $20 million to update income guidelines and twelve-month eligibility
  • Funds to update the Standard Reimbursement Rate paid to contracted child care centers and preschools
  • $2 million to increase the Regional Market Rate Reimbursement to child care providers serving low-income families
    • Annualizes last year’s increase, and updates the rate to the 2016 Regional Market Rate Survey.
  • $15 million to fund child care for foster children, beginning Jan 1 2018 and $31 million ongoing to establish a voluntary county program that would provide emergency vouchers and navigation services to families.

If passed and signed by the Governor, this recommended budget proposal will fund and enact all the provisions of AB 60 (Santiago, Gonzalez Fletcher) which was sponsored by Parent Voices, Child Care Law Center and First 5 California. The bill updates the decade-old family eligibility and streamlines reporting requirements for families with affordable child care subsidies.

California’s new minimum wage had unintentionally caused many families to become ineligible for child care. “Fixing the guidelines was our top priority, because it fulfills the legislators’ vision of a more prosperous future for everyone,” said Kim Kruckel of the Child Care Law Center.

This will help 280,000 kids in California. Parents can take the better job opportunities they’ve earned without fear of losing affordable child care, the very thing they need to work and for their kids to learn,” said Mary Ignatius, state organizer for Parent Voices.

Child care reimbursement rates will be also updated to help meet the new minimum wages, per last year’s budget agreement, which Governor Brown had initially considered “pausing” this year.

“We commend the Governor, Pro Tem de Leon, and Speaker Rendon for their leadership, and the restoration of nearly $250 million in child care rate increases and child access. Quality care provides lifelong building blocks to greater outcomes for children. Preservation of the multi-year deal on per-child funding will help uphold the quality child care that research shows can provide up to a 13 percent return on investment,” said Camille Maben, Executive Director of First 5 California.

This proposal supports California’s children, families, and child care providers, especially those who have been left behind in recent years. Parent Voices, the Child Care Law Center, and First 5 California have been leading a charge in the Capitol this year to ensure this year’s budget deal updated eligibility for families in our state’s subsidized child care system.

We will publish full details of the Conference Committee’s child care funding proposals, including new reimbursement rates, preschool health & safety, and child care for foster children, later today.

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