Have you heard the news?

Have Tou Heard the News?

Jean Goulart

California’s Governor Newsom is advocating for children, families and our ECE workforce. Jennifer Seibel Newsom, California’s First Partner, is a visible force for women, children and equity pay. I understand this news is a bit old, but it will continue for several years with a huge impact for early childhood.

My early years in the ECE field, the Mentor Program was being developed by Payton Nattinger, Professor at Chabot College, in Hayward. Worthy Wage campaign began in 1992, twenty-seven years ago. The ECE field hosts the most degreed under paid workforce. You have heard the research report that fast food employees are earning the same as a degreed teacher and director in a child development center. We are not able to claim college loan debt forgiveness, teacher tax credit and other K-12 incentives because we are still an unrecognized workforce who support families at their inception and the youngest of humanity, zero to five. Yes, early education reaches to the six- to eight-year-old youth as well, but they are in the public-school system, which early child educators are not without a K-12 credential. Early childhood educators know the K-12 teacher wage isn’t as grand as being a mechanic or a doctor either. Worthy Wage is essential to our workforce and for families to have a choice for quality early care and education. Today we have the California Early Learning System backed by research lifting our ECE field to the level of educators whom we always have been. Change in thinking is slow but finally our precious work with early learners, zero to five and extending through eight years, is backed by research and written for the benefit of humanity.

What can we do? Decisions for the California Department of Education are made at the Capitol by the local legislators you vote for in your residential community. Be a voice for the children, families and you. Your legislators are writing bills and reviewing them now for family childcare and child development programs. You need to tell your local legislators if they have written a bill good for California children, families and your ECE workforce. Your Public Policy Committee can help you with letter templates and information. Your local legislators would be pleased to have a visit in their local office to discuss your thoughts on early child education. Be bold and visit. Invite them to your family child care home or center to see your work and the families you serve. Tell them you appreciate the improvements we have but we have more work to reach the desired result. NAEYC is Power to the Profession. Yes! We are a profession, claim it and be involved. I understand change takes time. Childcare for women employees began during WWII. Worthy wage—27 years is too long. One step at a time I am told. I wish worthy wage was the race to the top.

CAAEYC Public Policy Committee Supports (view the full bill list at www.caeyc.org, Public Policy tab)

AB125 McCarty; Early childhood education: reimbursement rates. Would provide that it is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would establish a single regionalized state reimbursement rate system for childcare, preschool and early learning services that would achieve specified objectives. AB 125 Fact Sheet

AB194 Reyes; Childcare and development services. Would make legislative findings and declarations relating to early care and education programs and would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to appropriate $1,000,000,000 to immediately improve access to alternative payment programs and general childcare and development programs. AB 194 Fact Sheet

AB 324 Aguiar-Curry. Update Bill – Allocating funding to LPCs and deleting some previous requirements and adding new components such as serving staff in licensed centers and FCC homes who serve primarily subsidized children. AB 324 Fact Sheet     

AB 452 Mullin; Childcare: early childhood programs: grants. This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that appropriates between $25,000,000 and $35,000,000 to create a grant program to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age, inclusive. AB 452 Fact Sheet

SB 174 Leyva; ECE Reimbursement Rates – Companion to AB 125: This bill would provide that it is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would establish a single regionalized state reimbursement rate system for childcare, preschool and early learning services to achieve specified objectives. The bill would require the State Department of Education, on or before January 1, 2021, to create a plan for the single regionalized state reimbursement rate system described above and ensure that the plan’s methodology includes certain things, including that the state’s diverse early childhood education teachers and providers will be competitively compensated.

SB234 Skinner; Family Childcare. This bill would require a large family daycare home to be treated as a residential use of property for purposes of all local ordinances. In addition, it will clean up many licensing regulations as they related to FCC homes. SB 234 Fact Sheet    

Read the Governor’s revised budget for Early Education.

Too much to read! Here is a brief from James Moses, Vice Chair Public Policy Chair

On May 9, 2019, the Governor issued his May Revise budget. The May Revise maintains much of the bold investments included in the January proposal that builds on the current infrastructure and workforce. A glaring omission from the January proposal was funding to serve more children (except for California State Preschool Program expansion) in early learning programs that better meet parents working needs. The most notable changes included in the May Revision are:

  • $80.5 million Cannabis Fund to subsidize child care for school-age children from income-eligible families.
  • $40.7 million in General Funds (GF) in 2019-20 and $54.2 million in GF ongoing to bring 12 month eligibility into the CalWORKS Stage 1 child care program. The Governor notes "this will provide CalWORKs clients consistent child care access while their work activities stabilize."
  • $12.8 for emergency child care vouchers. These vouchers will allow vulnerable families to maintain work activities by providing emergency child care services through the Alternative Payment program as they pursue job stability.
  • $2.2 million ongoing federal funds to improve child care quality through Quality Counts California.
  • $38.2 million ongoing GF to supplement the Stage 2 and Stage 3 funding to account for an additional 14,000 children receiving child care services. This caseload increased resulted from the adoption of increased income eligibility and 12 month eligibility rules.
  • Reduces proposed State Preschool expansion increases by $93.5 million to reflect an adjustment to the Governor's Budget proposal to provide 10,000 State Preschool slots at non-local educational agencies beginning July 1, 2019. This adjustment reflects a change to release 2,500 slots starting April 1, 2020, and 7,500 slots starting July 1, 2020, by postponing the release of the additional 10,000 preschool slots until April 1, 2020.
    • Of the amount appropriated, $31,400.000 is available beginning April 1, 2020 to provide 2,500 additional full-day state preschool slots to non-local educational agencies.
  • COLA's adjustment for non-CalWORKs decreased from 3.46 percent to 3.26 percent.
    • Standard reimbursement rate shall not exceed $49.54 per day general child care/$30.87 per day part-day California state preschool programs/ $49.85 for full-day California state preschool programs.
  • $1.7 million increase to state child nutrition program.

It is crunch time and the field advocates are hopeful we can maintain the positive momentum around the Governor’s proposals and gain support to increase funding to immediately serve more children. You can help by contacting your legislators and letting them know you support the Billion Dollars for Babies Bill (AB 194), which is part of the ECE Coalition ask to immediately serve more children and families. Thank you, James.

You can hear further briefings from the Public Policy Committee. Join our call meeting every second Monday of each month at 7pm; further details at www.caeyc.org.

My term is ending, and the new Public Policy Chair’s term begins on July 1, 2019. I thank my fellow colleagues of the Public Policy Committee for their dedication to the CAAEYC Public Policy Committee to volunteer to better California children, families and our ECE workforce. We are all volunteers on the committee. You choose how much time you are able to devote to committee work, which advances your ECE field. Please join us.