We’re making progress. On June 15, the California State Legislature voted to approve the 2017-18 Budget Act, investing nearly $360 million in early care and education to build on investments agreed to last year and address critical access barriers for young children and families.
Highlights for children in the budget include:
Provides ongoing state support to update decade-old early childhood program income eligibility requirements and ensure 12-month continuous eligibility in care ($25 million)
Honoring The Multiyear Early Childhood Agreement
Fulfills the 2016-17 budget investment and upholds second year funding of multiyear agreement by providing a total of $284 million in State Preschool slots and reimbursement rates.
- Preschool Access: Funds a full year of and expands full-day State Preschool for nearly 3,000 more children ($32 million)
- Provider Reimbursement Rates: Increases reimbursement by a full 10 percent for State Preschool and center-based child care providers, with an additional six percent increase beginning July 1 ($161 million); increases the reimbursement rate for voucher-based providers to the 75th percentile of the 2016 survey beginning Jan. 1, 2018 with a one-year hold harmless provision ($83 million); Increases the License-exempt rate ($8 million)
Provides one-time funds for the professional development of bilingual educators to address teacher shortage ($5 million)
Access for Exceptional Children
Allows children with exceptional needs who do not meet income requirements to take up part-day State Preschool slots if all income-eligible children are served
To address facility licensing issues, requires the Legislative Analyst’s Office to convene a stakeholder process and submit recommendations on health and safety regulations to the Legislature and the Departments of Education and Finance. The Department of Education will then begin an emergency regulation process, and State Preschool programs run by Local Educational Agencies will be exempt from Title 22 requirements upon adoption of emergency regulations or by June 30, 2019.
We thank Governor Brown, Assembly Speaker Rendon, Senate President pro Tem De Léon, the Legislature, and the California Legislative Women’s Caucus for prioritizing young children and families in this budget.
Our work isn’t over. To make the most out of California’s early learning investments, we now turn to lawmakers to prioritize early educators and caregivers – the lynchpin of the kind of quality early learning that’s proven to benefit children.
We look forward to working together to advance smart investments and policies that fight poverty in California and ensure every child has the opportunity to benefit from a high-quality early education.