Funding Provisions for Child Care and Preschool – Budget Conference Committee

June 13, 2017

The California Senate and Assembly are expected to vote on Thursday, June 15, 2017 on the funding provisions reached in the Budget Conference Committee.

The child care and preschool spending provisions are:

  • $25 million to update income guidelines and adopt twelve-month eligibility;
  • Funding for 2,959 full day state preschool slots administered by Local Education Agencies.  If they don’t spend the money, it can be used by non-LEAs for part-time preschool;
  • Restore the 5% “paused” increase to this year’s Standard Reimbursement Rate paid to contracted child care centers and preschools, and provide an additional 6.16% increase for this year;
  • $42.2 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, effective January 1, 2018;
  • $15 million to fund emergency 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 $5 Million to the R&R’s for navigation services for families;
  • Title 22 regulations and staffing ratios still apply to LEA-administered preschools. Establish a stakeholder group, led by the LAO, to examine health and safety regulatory requirements under Title 22, and to report back to the Legislature by March 2018.

These fund proposals reflect the coordinated and enthusiastic efforts of many advocates and legislators, including Sub-Committee and Committee chairs, the Legislative Women’s Caucus, and others.

If passed and signed by the Governor, this recommended budget proposal will fund and enact all the provisions of AB 60, authored and championed by Assembly Members Santiago, Gonzalez Fletcher.  Parent Voices, Child Care Law Center and First 5 California sponsored the legislation to update family eligibility and streamline reporting requirements for families.

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.