More California Children Will Get Safe and Enriching Child Care in 2018
By supporting safe and enriching child care for babies and toddlers, we are creating a seamless early learning opportunity for children, from the day they are born to preschool and beyond. Advocates are celebrating progress in both local and state government this week.
In San Francisco, voters have passed Prop C! This historic measure will assure child care scholarships for children from low income and moderate income families, and better training opportunities and compensation for child care providers. Funding will be generated by a small surcharge of commercial rents over $1 million per year.
In Alameda County, Measure A lost by a mere .5%. Measure A sought to address the child care crisis by providing financial assistance to low income families and improved pay to retain child care professionals. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors had proposed a half-cent sales tax increase for the June 5 primary election ballot, and it needed two-thirds of the voters to approve it to pass.*
California State Budget for 2018-2019
California legislators and Governor Brown have reached agreement on a state budget that includes new dollars for child care and preschool.
- 13,407 more children will get child care financial assistance, bringing the total number of children helped statewide to about 46,000. ($15.8 million General Fund and approximately $102 million each year for four years in new CCDBG funds).**
- Child care centers that care for children with special needs, babies and toddlers will receive an increase in their compensation, to incentivize programs to meet this need. ($40.2 million in General Funds this budget year). For example, compensation for caring for an infant will raise from $46.00 to $116 per day
- Expansion for preschool, child care and reimbursement rate increases agreed to in previous years ($161.5 million in Prop 98 and General Funds)
- Funds for increased costs due to improved eligibility rules, increases in provider payments and caseload adjustments agreed to last year.
- Annual inspections of licensed child care programs ($26.4 million in new CCDBG)
- Inclusive preschools run by local school districts ($167 million in Prop 98 funds)
- Quality improvements $26 million of existing CCDBG funds
- Quality improvements totaling $10 million of new CCDBG funds, for:
- professional development for licensed child care teachers
- California Child Care Initiative Project funding for family child care development8.
This is progress, with new vouchers and an emphasis on increasing our capacity for children three and under. But – hundreds of thousands of families across the state will still have to choose between making sure their child care good, safe care or working to provide for other basic needs. Our flexible child care programs, excluding state preschool, directly assist fewer than 50,000 families.
Two pieces of legislation that can help more children get great child care and ease the financial burdens for families:
AB 2023 (Caballero) would make the tax credit for low income families who do not get child care subsidies refundable.
AB 60 (Santiago) will make it easier for very low income families to get child care assistance through CalWORKs programs.
*Prop 13, the infamous tax law passed by California voters in response to high housing costs in 1979, contained a provision that all future tax measures would require two-thirds majority to pass. The provision has made proposals to fund essential services like education almost impossible to pass. The San Francisco measure was placed on the ballot through a petition, signed by a percentage of SF voters. A recent court ruling held that this type of initiative only needs 50% + 1 to pass.
**Although they have no justification for doing so, the Department of Finance has insisted that new CCDBG dollars are limited to 2018 and 2019, and that therefore 11,307 new vouchers are limited to four years.
June 14, 2018