Op-Ed from Leading Child Childcare Expert
Evidence matters. Dr. Michael Olenick’s summary of the history of childcare expansion efforts, and the research of how different policy initiatives impacted early childhood systems, is clear and succinct. The implications for California’s most recent policy changes are serious. And a solution is completely achievable.
For more than a century, California has supported an early care system with small incremental changes while leaving much of the system to the marketplace. Plans laid by the governor to implement a Universal Transitional Kindergarten statewide by 2025 have been similarly imposed in other states,
California Budget Update
It’s been a hectic few weeks. We did not get our $50M budget request for Head Start. Not yet! However, our Roar Back with Start campaign had some promising outcomes:
1. Over 50 agencies signed on to our budget request letter.
- 16 Statewide agencies, including Parent Voices, First 5 of California, Children Now, the California Teachers Association, and California Federation of Teachers.
- 38 providers including:
- 30 private non-profits
- 5 Community Action Programs
- 3 County Offices of Educations
AB 22 Is Not the Only Solution for California’s Children and Families
Head Start California is in strong opposition to Assembly Bill 22 (McCarty), which would expand transitional kindergarten to all 4-year olds. While we appreciate the bill’s intent to ensure that children are ready to thrive when they enter a public school system, we believe there are unintended consequences that will arise as a result of implementation of AB 22 that would harm, not help, California’s low-income children and families. Head Start California is opposed for the following reasons:
AB 22 does not address what at-risk children need.
Your Voice in the Master Plan
This month, Head Start California is working through its regional clusters to coordinate a comprehensive response to The Master Plan for Early Learning and Care. The Master Plan has major implications for Head Start’s role in the future of California’s mixed delivery system for early childhood care and learning. Our goal is to solicit broad input from Head Start programs across California to ensure that we can provide the administration with a cohesive and clear set of recommendations.
The Master Plan for Early Learning and Care: Making California For All Kids: A High-Level Overview
The Master Plan:
- Outlines a roadmap for building comprehensive and equitable early learning system over the next decade.
- Builds on more than $500 million in federal funds allocated by the Governor and Legislature to increase access to childcare vouchers, waive family fees and support the child care workforce with PPE.
Recommendations include expanding access to paid family leave, providing universal preschool for all 4-year-olds and income eligible 3-year-olds and prohibiting suspensions and expulsions in subsidized early learning programs.
Our Policy Priorities for 2021: Improving Early Childhood Education with a COVID lens
We’ve turned the calendar corner, and 2021 will be busy. HSC’s vision remains the same – providing more pregnant mothers, children aged 0-5 and their families access to Head Start and Early Head Start high-quality school readiness and comprehensive services, and to improving the early childhood education and care system for the most vulnerable children. Making that vision a reality now requires a COVID-19 lens.
Our advocacy work is driven by stories and priorities. You have some impressive stories to tell.
How do members of congress know what we want? The answer is surprisingly simple. We have to tell them. There are a few options: in-person meeting, phone call, letter, Tweet. Their legislative staff monitor these communications. Staff could report to their Member of Congress in under 15 seconds.
Staff: “Hey, we got some letters about including Head Start in the next COVID relief package.”
Member: “How many?”
Staff: “Almost 400.”
But what if the answer to ‘how many?’ had been: “Over 20,000.” That could lead to a very different congressional response: “Wow!
2020-21 State Budget Signed
Nearly 500 letters sent to Gov. Newsom to urge adoption of Legislature’s budget
The Governor and Legislature reached a final budget deal this week, protecting child care provider reimbursement rates and including additional protections to keep child care thriving as the essential service it is now and always will be. On June 30, Governor Newsom signed the 2020-21 state budget which protects many existing investments in children, families and care providers.
AB 77 and SB 98 are the budget trailer bills for education financing,
HSC Members Go Virtual for State & Federal Advocacy Days
Child Care & End Child Poverty in CA- Virtual Advocacy Days
On June 4, Head Start California partnered with the California Alternative Payment Program Association, End Child Poverty CA and the CA Food Bank Association to host a virtual advocacy day. We came together as a group of over 250 advocates where we learned, advocated and briefed over 50 legislative offices on our state policy and budget overview that will keep families fed, housed, and cared for.
State Budget Update: Senate democrats oppose $14 billion in budget cuts
Alternate funding approach proposed, preserving childcare and education spending
California Senate Democrats are poised to reject $14 billion in budget cuts proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this month, choosing instead to craft a spending plan that looks for other ways to erase the state’s deficit and assumes additional money for schools and social services will come from the federal government by early September.
The proposal relies on an alternate approach to Newsom’s plea for additional funds from President Trump and Congress,