Governor Gavin Newsom’s much anticipated, and much foreshadowed, January Budget proposal was released at 11 a.m. and early care and education (ECE) advocates didn’t need to read beyond the first page of the 280 page budget summary to see child care referenced as a “building block necessity”. The rest of the proposal summary includes a host of measures intended to support young children, their parents, ECE professionals, teachers and California’s complex ECE sector.
- $10 million one-time non-Proposition 98 General Fund to plan for and develop a longitudinal data system. This system will connect student information from early education providers, K-12 schools, higher education institutions, employers, other workforce entities, and health and human services agencies. A portion of this funding will be used for initial planning purposes. The bulk of the funding will be available for the initial stages of system implementation once an implementation plan is adopted by the Administration and the Legislature.
- Doubling the existing Earned Income Tax Credit by investing $1 billion in a new “Working Families Tax Credit” that will support low-income families with young children by providing a $500 credit for families with children under the age of six
- Convening a task force to consider different options to phase-in and expand Paid Family Leave to allow children to be cared for by a parent or a close relative for up to six months
- Funding for universal preschool for all income-eligible four-year-old children in the state, phased in over a three-year period with $125 million included in this year’s proposal increasing the number of slots to 180,000, with the goal of serving 200,000 children by 2020-21. The proposal suggest that these additional slots be operated by non-profit providers due to constraints on local education agencies.
- Eliminating the requirement that families with four-year-olds provide proof of parent employment or enrollment in higher education to access the full-day California State Preschool Program.
- Simplifying program administration for non-profit providers by moving funding for part-day State Preschool programs at non-local educational agencies to the non-Proposition 98 General Fund.
- $10 million in funding for a one year planning process to outline necessary steps to provide universal preschool in California (led by the State Board of Education, Department of Finance and Department of Social Services in consultation with stakeholders and experts), including strategies to address facility capacity, to ensure a trained workforce is available, and to identify revenue options to support universal access. This item notes that the plan may propose changes to the transitional kindergarten program.
- $500 million in one-time General Fund expenditures to both (1) expand subsidized child care facilities in the state and (2) make a significant investment in the education of the child care workforce to improve the quality of care and move child care professionals along the early education/child care professional continuum
- $45 million in additional funding for ACEs screenings for children and adults enrolled in Medi-Cal and $60 million to increase developmental screenings provided to children in Medi-Cal
- An additional $78.9 million in a mix of federal funds and General Fund to provide home visiting services to eligible CalWORKs families (pregnant women and families with a child under the age of two for up to 24 months with priority given to first-time parents) in 2019-20, $23 million to expand Department of Public Health home visiting services with a focus on low-income, young mothers and $7.5 million is to increase participation in the Black Infant Health Program
- A $357 million increase in funding to raise grants for the lowest income families served by the CalWORKs program to 50 percent of the Federal Poverty level (an increase of 13.1%)
- $122 million in increased funding of Cal Grant awards for student-parents with dependent children attending California’s public colleges
- $750 million one-time General Fund to address barriers to full-day kindergarten for the 22% of districts that do not provide it. Districts most commonly cite facilities needs as the major barrier so these funds are likely to fund construction of new, and retrofitting existing, facilities for full-day kindergarten programs, although they can be spent to address other barriers.
- $247 million in one-time General Fund for the expansion of on-campus child care facilities at CSUs
- $50 million one-time General Fund to support Child Savings Account pilot projects and partnerships with First 5 California, local First 5 Commissions, local government, and philanthropy
- An increase of $187 million Proposition 98 General Fund to support a 3.46 percent cost-of-living adjustment for categorical programs that remain outside of the LCFF, including State Preschool,
- A net increase of $119.4 million non-Proposition 98 General Fund in 2019-20 to reflect increases in the number of CalWORKs child care cases. Total costs for Stage 2 and 3 are $597 million and $482.2 million, respectively.
- An increase of $26.8 million Proposition 98 General Fund to reflect full-year costs of 2,959 full-day State Preschool slots implemented part-way through the 2018-19 fiscal year.
The long list of proposed expansions, increases, changes and edits will form the basis of the budget discussions between the Governor and Legislature until the revised proposal, due in May. There will also be a complicated series of negotiations as proposed legislation, which may overlap with these proposals, makes its way through the State Assembly and Senate. Advocacy groups from across the State will also ensure that their voices are heard before the final budget is due in June.