Public Policy Updates
Your CAAEYC Public Policy Committee has remained active in both federal and state advocacy since our last newsletter publication. At that time, we discussed the American Rescue Plan Act funds and how those may be used in the 20-21 budget year as well as become part of the 21-22 budget. Well, much of those funds were used to fund the additional child care and development dollars in the 21-22 budget. Unfortunately, most of those dollars went to LEAs to fund the new Transitional Kindergarten grade and build out during the next five (5) years. For more information on how these dollars were incorporated into the 2020-21 and 2021-22 budgets for general child care programs, click here (PDF – Federal Relief Funds – Child Care Dept. of Finance to CCLC 10-14-21). To see how the State’s general fund dollars were incorporated into the 2021-22 budget click here (PDF – 2021 Budget Act General Fund - Child Care Dept. of Finance to CCLC 10-14-21).
In addition to the state and federal advocacy work that has included more than 10 letters that CAAEYC signed onto or wrote individually to support child care legislation and budget issues important to our members, the team has been busy with a number of other things as well.
Creating a Public Policy Presence at the CAAEYC Annual Conference
We hope to see you at the CAAEYC 2022 Conference: “Visions for the Future, Coming Together to Advance the ECE Profession,” in Pasadena. Mark your calendars for April 29-May 1, and plan to join us in Pasadena, CA. Register at http://conference.caeyc.org/. The Policy Linkages and Professional Development Work Group has been working to secure public policy presenters and ensure other opportunities for a public policy presence at the Conference.
Public Policy Internship and Succession Planning
Some of our long standing members may remember the CAAEYC Public Policy Internship Program. The PPC has begun to research and plan a resurrection, of sorts, for our former internship program. The PPC has begun to gather information from members and meet with other state AEYCs, who have similar programs with a focus on building the next generation of advocates. While we don’t know yet what we will call this new program, we do know who will provide leadership of the development for the new program. We are pleased that Jan Fish, who was part of the development team who initially created the Public Policy Internship Program more than 35 years ago, will lead this project. We are hopeful we will find a Master’s student to take this project on to assist Jan. Much has changed since we last offered the internship program and our new program will look much different. In some areas, we have seen a dramatic change in how advocacy is conducted and our new program will address these new advocacy approaches. Our current timeline goal is to kick-off the new program in September-October 2022. Stay tuned for more information.
Mixed Delivery in the Universal Preschool
Your PPC is actively involved in both state and federal discussions around ensuring the mixed delivery system is an integral part of Universal Preschool. How this will play out during the next year remains to be seen but we are hopeful the President’s Build Back Better plan, which includes a mixed delivery universal preschool approach, will help adjust our state programming and funding to ensure a mixed delivery is offered to children and families. It is critical that we continue to inform our legislators about the importance of not only ensuring that the mixed delivery system is included in the universal preschool discussion but providing appropriate funding for the mixed delivery system to serve four-year-olds as well as the 0-3 population.
Build Back Better Plan
The PPC continues to engage our federal legislators in support of the Build Back Better Plan and full funding for child care. The child care portion of this funding has already been reduced from $450 billion to $400 billion. We are appreciative of the federal efforts to support the child care sector in the wake of the COVID‐19 pandemic. The resources provided to date have been essential to stabilizing many providers and ensuring millions of parents and children have access to safe, high‐quality, and developmentally appropriate care. The American Rescue Plan and 2020 COVID-19 relief packages included critical investments in relief. Still, it was not designed to address the long-term structural flaws in our child care system and economy.
Our country and our state faces severe systemic child care supply challenges. The United States has not had a comprehensive child care and early education system except for a brief period during World War II. Since then,
American families have been left mainly to fend for themselves, relying on the underpaid labor of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and immigrant women so that others can work. Child care is infrastructure. It connects workers and jobs. It makes all other work possible. It supports the positive growth and development of our nation's children. We must help them understand that our field must be supported if we are ever going to see our communities begin the rebuilding process from the effects of the pandemic. For more information and tools to advocate with your congressional representatives, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we plan for the months ahead, we remain focused on our federal budget and are hopeful we will see a large investment in our state budget. We’re not talking about one-time investments either. We are talking about ongoing investments to reverse the systemic child care supply challenges we have been facing for decades. To get an idea of what our state legislators are thinking you can access the Senate and Assembly budget plans here: Senate Budget and Assembly Budget. As we prepare for state budget advocacy related to the 2022-23 budget, we need your help. You can engage with the PPC in any of several ways, and we encourage you to join us and learn more about our work and how you can join us to advocate for our field and the children and families that are dependent on us.
The PPC has the following regularly scheduled meetings. Please consider joining us!
- PPC Meeting – 1st Tuesday of the month 7:00pm-8:30pm
- Legislative Workgroup – 3rd Tuesday of each month 6:30pm-8:00pm
- Policy Linkages and Professional Development Work Group – 4th Tuesday of each month 6:30pm-8:00pm
For more information on these meetings, please contact us at email@example.com.