Budget Conference Committee 2019 and Legislation Updates

Good quality child care opens opportunities for children, families and communities. Governor Newsom, the Senate, and the Assembly have all proposed new funds for child care and early learning for the FY19-20 state budget.

Differences between the Senate and Assembly budget proposals will be worked out in the Conference Committee until June 8, 2019.

Here is a breakdown of some of the key issues. You can read more about the child care issues in the  Conference Committee agenda here, and this link shows you the Conference Committee members and all the agendas.

Conference Committee Items:

New funding for affordable child care

The Senate proposes 12,250 vouchers and 1800 spaces in general child care (state-contracted centers) for a total cost of $150 million per year ongoing

The Assembly proposes 16,831 vouchers and 6172 general child care for a total cost of $166 million a year ongoing

Emergency Child Care Bridge for Foster Kids

The Senate did not make a proposal. The Assembly proposes $47 million in new funding.

Infrastructure

The Senate did not make a proposal. The Assembly proposes $30 million to help implement AB 378 and AB 1001 (better data collection and coordination through local planning councils).

Full day kindergarten expansion

The Senate proposes $150 million one time for facilities; The Assembly proposes $200 million over three years.

Child Care Providers – Family, Friend & Neighbor Care:

The Senate proposes $85 million to bring the rates for FFN care up to 70% of the rate paid to family child care providers.

Reimbursement Rate Reform:

The Senate did not make a proposal. The Assembly proposes to establish a single-rate-system for $88 million ongoing to fund AB 125/SB 174.

Points of General Agreement, with details still be worked out:

Funding For Child Care Facilities

The Senate and Assembly both adopted Governor Newsom’s proposal for $245 million. Details on criteria for spending the funds will be decided.

Funds for Training for Child Care Workforce

The Senate and Assembly both adopted Governor Newsom’s proposal for $245 million for training and apprenticeship programs. Details for spending are still to be decided.

 

Points of Agreement between the Governor and both houses, and therefore not on the Conference Committee agenda

  • 10,000 new preschool spaces in April 2020
  • COLAs for all child care programs not funded through Prop 98
  • Adjustments to CalWORKs case management
  • New Funds for the Quality Counts program

 

Status, May 31, 2019: Key legislation affecting child care and preschool

AB 194 (Reyes)  —  $1 Billion over three years to expand access to child care for 100,000 children (through alternative payment vouchers.)  Held in Assembly Appropriations; any action on this bill would be accomplished through the budget process. (The Child Care Law Center is a cosponsor and the ECE Coalition prioritized this bill.)

AB 123 (McCarty)  – expands the state preschool program, enables local educational agencies to blend the program with transitional kindergarten. It also increases the reimbursement rate and teacher pay. It has passed the Assembly, and is now in the Senate.

AB 125 (McCarty) – legislation to establish a single regionalized state reimbursement rate system for childcare, preschool, and early learning services that would achieve specified objectives.  Held in Appropriations.

SB 174 (Leyva) – Mirrors McCarty’s AB 125. Passed in Senate and is now in Assembly

Note: Reimbursement rates are partly responsible for keeping the pay of early childhood professionals low, and limit the choices that low income parents have when they seek a child care provider. The Assembly BRC Report endorses reform of reimbursement rates and recommends following the guidelines set out by the 5 California-convened Rates Working Group.

Facilities

AB 124 (McCarty) directs Local Planning Councils to provide information to cities and counties regarding facilities needs. Held in Assembly Appropriations

AB 452 (Mullin) changes our existing child care facilities loan fund to a grant fund, for child care centers and family child care homes. The loan fund is historically underutilized because child care programs can’t afford to repay loans.  Passed the Assembly and is now in the Senate.

Note: There is similar Trailer Bill Language in the Governor’s budget.

ECE Workforce Development, Capacity and Quality

SB 234 (Skinner)  – equalizes local requirements for opening licensed family child care  and also clarifies existing housing protections for family child care in rental property. Passed the Senate and is now in the Assembly.

Note: The Child Care Law Center, California Resource & Referral Network, SEIU California, and United Domestic Workers of America-AFSCME Local 3930/AFL-CIO are sponsors of SB 234.

AB324 (Aguiar-Curry) – improves professional development in ECE by providing stipends and paid days out of the classroom for child care centers and Family Child Care Education Networks. Seeks to set standards for how to spend the Governor’s one-time investment proposal of $245 million in his budget. Passed the Assembly and is now in the Senate.

AB 378 (Limon) – Passed Assembly – gives family child care providers the right to form a collective bargaining unit to negotiate with the state on various improvements that impact their work and the families they serve.

The improvements include, but are not limited to:

  • Reimbursement rates;
  • Improved recruitment and retention of qualified providers;
  • Access to relevant training.

This bill will also create a training partnership that will:

  • Identify and help to eliminate barriers that prevent providers from accessing greater skills and education;
  • Create a sustainable career path for the early education workforce;
  • Ensure trainings offered to providers satisfy the health, safety and educational standards prescribed by the State.

Administrative

AB 6 (Reyes) proposes to establish an Early Childhood Education branch within the California Dept. of Education, “to ensure a holistic implementation of early childhood education programs and universal preschool.” The legislative proposal establishes intent only, and does not contain a fiscal request. Passed the Assembly and is now in the Senate.

May 31, 2019