This Fact Sheet shows eligibility for subsidized child care by California county while highlighting the significant unmet need that remains for these programs. Because eligibility is concentrated in certain areas of the state, state policymakers can reach those with the greatest need by targeting funding for early care and education.
High-quality, affordable child care and preschool is essential for California families to live and thrive. Child care and preschool programs help children to learn and explore, while allowing parents to participate in the workforce knowing their children are in good hands. The Budget Center examines state funding and related policies for child care and early education, including opportunities to broaden access to quality programs for families with low and middle incomes.
For EveryChild California’s Early Learning and Care Advocacy: A Day at the Capitol, Budget Center Senior Policy Analyst Kristin Schumacher presented on early learning programs in the May Revision of the 2019-20 state budget.
This “First Look” analysis examines Governor Newsom’s revised state budget proposal for 2019-20, the state fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2019, and highlights the ways it could impact low- and middle-income Californians.
“Children younger than 3 years old are especially in need of childcare, with 8 out of 9 eligible infants and toddlers not enrolled in a subsidized program, according to the California Budget & Policy Center, a nonprofit organization that analyzes budgets’ impact on low-income residents. ‘Families across the state are really struggling to afford the high cost of childcare and we know that there is a great deal of unmet need,’ said Kristin Schumacher, an analyst for the California Budget & Policy Center.”
But the number of state-subsidized child care slots is incredibly limited. The California Budget & Policy Center found that of the roughly 2 million kids that qualify for some kind of subsidized care, just 228,100 are actually enrolled in programs that operate on more than a part-time basis.