August 31st represents the end of the legislative session, with bills that have not passed through both Houses of the State legislature either dead or moving on to the Governor’s desk for signature, veto, or to become law without signature. As you may recall from Schoolhouse Rock, it’s not easy for a bill to become a law, and most of this session’s early care and education (ECE) bills have not made it this far. The County of Los Angeles Child Care Planning Committee – their equivalent of Santa Clara County’s Local Early Education Planning Council (LPC) – has been tracking 41 bills related to ECE throughout the session and lists 25 of them as dead. Notable passings include AB 1754 (McCarty) that would have greatly expanded eligibility for full-day preschool programs operated at California public schools, AB 2292 (Aguiar-Curry) that would have increased adjustment factors for serving infants and toddlers (provisions that were included in the Budget for 2018-19 and so may have been considered redundant), AB 2398 (Mullin) that would have modified the Child Care Revolving Loan Fund, and AB 2568 (Thurmond) that would have imposed a tax on vendors to the State’s prison system and used the revenue from that tax to pay for preschool and after-school programs. There are, however, some notable survivors in the process that may start to re-anneal the state’s fragmented ECE system into something more like a whole. AB 11 (McCarty) would require that the state’s screening services under the Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program include developmental screenings for children 0 to 3 years of age. AB 605 (Mullin) requires the state to create a streamlined licensing system for all child care providers by 2021 and to implement the system by 2024. AB 2698 (Rubio) creates a 5% increase in funding for ECE programs that provide early childhood mental health consultation. AB 2626 (Mullin) extends a number of the modifications to the state’s ECE programs that have been implemented in the 13 existing county-wide local child care pilot programs to all the programs across the state. AB 2960 (Thurmond), that requires the state to create an online portal for parents to access child development programs, has also made it to the Governor’s desk but doesn’t appropriate any funds for the development of this online tool. Finally, AB 2370 (Holden), which requires licensed child care centers in buildings built before 2010 to test their drinking water for lead contamination – which might not move us towards a comprehensive ECE system but just seems like a good idea, has also passed the legislature. Some of these bills may yet be vetoed by the Governor but those that pass will make the state’s commitment to its youngest learners stronger. The whole process will restart after the election on December 3rd.