In this presentation learn what funding early care and education programs received in the 2020-21 state budget and from federal relief in 2020, and the additional support providers, workers, and families – particularly Californians of color and families in low-income households – still need from state and federal policymakers in the ongoing pandemic.
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.
During this unprecedented health and economic crisis, many subsidized child care providers in California have stepped up to the challenge of providing early learning and care for families with low and moderate incomes – particularly for children with parents who are essential workers. While the state and federal government have both provided emergency funding to support subsidized child care providers, total support falls far short of the estimated level necessary to sustain child care providers. In addition, the Governor’s May Revision would cut provider payment rates by 10%. These rate cuts could be detrimental for child care providers who were already underpaid and operating on thin margins prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, during this crisis, providers are faced with dramatically higher costs due to smaller class sizes, increased staffing per child, and the added expense of keeping facilities clean as they care for and educate children.
As California grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been essential workers in hospitals, grocery stores, agricultural fields, and many other core services that have helped ensure the health and safety of our communities. But essential workers can’t go to work – no matter how vital their jobs – without a safe space for their children to learn and grow. This presentation by Senior Policy Analyst Kristin Schumacher covers research on the state’s essential workers, industries, and occupations – conducted in partnership with the UC Berkeley Labor Center. You’ll also learn how many children in California had parents who were considered essential workers and the number of children who were income-eligible for subsidized care with parents working in essential jobs.
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.
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.