Back in May, a delegation of Strong Start coalition members, along with staff from the Santa Clara County Office of Education and Board Trustees, headed to Sacramento for our annual advocacy day. From the raft of early care and education (ECE) legislation that had been proposed, we highlighted five bills to discuss with lawmakers. With the legislative session ending on Friday, and a 72-hour sunshine requirement meaning the final language of bills had to be posted at midnight on Tuesday, it’s time to update where those bills stand.
AB 776 (Kalra) co-sponsored by the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE), allows county offices of education to request unique student identifiers for use in CALPADS for students enrolled in a state-funded childcare and development program within that county. This bill sailed through the legislature and is now on the Governor’s desk awaiting signature.
AB 1001 (Ting) passed out of both policy committees and Assembly Appropriations but the corresponding budget ask unfortunately did not make it out of budget conference committee negotiations. The bill will be reintroduced in late 2020 and in the meantime, the California Child Care Coordinators Association (CCCCA) and California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA), will continue to meet with necessary stakeholders to garner support.
AB 452 (Mullin), which would have turned the state’s Child Care Revolving Loan Fund program into a grant fund, stalled in the Senate Education Committee. However, funds from the program were included in a grant program that was part of the State Budget deal, meaning that some – if not all – of the goals of the legislation were accomplished.
AB 125 (McCarty) and SB 174 (Leyva) were paired bills that, among other things, would have combined the state’s different funding systems for center- and voucher-based childcare programs into a single reimbursement system with rates that reflected the cost of care and incentivized programs to deliver higher quality care. Each bill was contingent on the other passing and neither has made it out of the legislature.
Other significant ECE bills that passed this year include AB 48, which allows the usage of bond funds in next year’s school bond ballot initiative for preschool facilities, AB 197 (Weber), which requires school districts to operate at least one full-day kindergarten program, and SB 234 (Skinner) that requires large family child care homes to be treated as a residential use for the purposes of all local ordinances. Combined with the historic ECE investments included in the State Budget, it has been a remarkably successful year for ECE advocacy in Sacramento. (The text for all these bills and analyses by legislative committee staff can be found at the California Legislative Information web site.)