California took a step in the right direction for kids today. Governor Brown released his revision to his 2017-18 budget proposal, removing a proposed freeze in multiyear funding for early childhood education and child care.
We thank the governor for keeping the promise to California’s youngest children and families. Continuing funding over the next year will appropriate an additional $239 million to expand full-day state preschool by nearly 3,000 slots, increase reimbursement rates for educators and caregivers to fully reflect last year’s budget agreement, and adjust for cost of living.
While we are pleased that the proposal today is an improvement from the governor’s January proposal, we must recognize that the early childhood system, and families, in California are still recovering from the Great Recession. With far too many children still left unserved, we will continue to advocate for multiyear funding.
Research shows it is the quality of interactions with educators, and caregivers that ensure children get the most out of their early experiences now and are successful in school and life in the future. To leverage California’s current investments in early learning, we should ensure providers in all early childhood settings get better compensation, training, and professional development to serve our young children well.
We thank the California Legislature, the Legislative Women’s Caucus, and legislative leaders for continuing to make young children a top priority in the budget. From here, we look to them to improve the quality and funding of early learning programs to do what’s right by California’s children, families, educators, and caregivers.