Response to Governor Newsom’s 2019-20 Budget Proposals for Early Childhood Programs

Good, affordable child care creates stability and opens opportunities for children, families, and communities. It is thrilling that Governor Newsom proposes to direct additional resources to support families with young children in his state budget.

Governor Newsom’s 19-20 child care budget specifically calls for:

  • $125 million in non-Proposition 98 General Funds over four years to build capacity for full-time preschool in for all low-income four-year-olds
  • $500 million in one-time general funds for workforce development and infrastructure
  • $247 million in one-time general funds for the California State University system that can be used for, among other things, campus child care facilities.
  • An increase of $124.9 million non-Proposition 98 General Fund for an additional 10,000 non-local educational agency full-day State Preschool spaces.
  • An increase of $119.4 million non-Proposition 98 General Fund to reflect increased CalWORKs Stages 2 and 3 child care cases. The proposed budget includes a decrease of $54 million to Stage 1 child care cases.
  • An increase of $26.8 million Proposition 98 funds to reflect full-year costs of 2,959 full-day State Preschool slots implemented during the 2018-19 fiscal year
  • A scant increase of $15 million in flexible vouchers to cover increase costs (no additional children will be served).

Governor Newsom’s budget proposals to support families:

  • Extend Paid Family Leave from the current six weeks to six months. (The PFL program is funded by employee paycheck deductions.)
  • $200 million for home visiting programs for first-time mothers and expanded developmental screenings for children
  • Increase CalGrants to $6000 for parents with kids who attend California State Universities
  • $347.6 million to raise the amount of grants to families on CalWORKs to 50% of the Federal Poverty Level
  • Substantial increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit, renamed the Working Families Tax Credit, particularly directed to families with children under age 6.

Families welcome our new governor’s commitment to a strong start for children. Because the state has devoted limited resources to affordable child care, many child care providers have closed down and six out of seven eligible kids still are not getting the affordable child care and preschool they need to thrive.

Families with babies and toddlers need child care funds so they can work to pay for housing, health care, and other basic needs. With over one million children on the child care waiting list, the Governor and Legislature must expand flexible vouchers to all young children living in poverty with a focus on settings that are consistent with low-income families’ needs.*

While parents are working, child care providers help children grow and learn.

We look forward to working with the Administration and the Legislature to prioritize low-income families and communities of color, who have long been excluded from society’s resources. All of us deserve the chance to realize our potential.

January 14, 2019

*This is an immediate and foundational recommendation of the The Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force Report, available here.