On Sunday, Oct. 13, Governor Newsom signed and vetoed the year’s final batch of legislation. The governor signed several bills that support early childhood development and early childhood providers, and help families. Read on below to learn more!

Early Childhood Development

Earlier this year, the governor allocated $54 million to improve rates of developmental screenings. Building on this investment, the governor signed AB 1004 (McCarty) which will help ensure providers adhere to American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines for developmental screening and use validated screening tools.

Helping Families

The governor signed AB 577 (Eggman) and SB 464 (Mitchell), both related to maternal mental wellness. This helps support mothers in our communities dealing with maternal depression.

AB 577 (Eggman) extends Medi-Cal postpartum care for up to a year from the last day of pregnancy for a woman diagnosed with a maternal mental health condition (previously it was only 60 days).

SB 464 (Mitchell) will require medical staff caring for pregnant women to complete implicit bias training, which should lead to better birth outcomes and reduced maternal mortality for black mothers.

Additionally, the governor signed AB 406 (Limon), which will require translation of the paid family leave benefits application into languages spoken by a substantial number of applicants by 2025, increasing the awareness of the availability of paid family leave to those who speak other languages.

Early Childhood Providers

Governor Newsom signed AB 378 (Limon), which addresses the persistent issue of low wages for early childcare providers, allowing more than 40,000 home-based child care workers to collectively bargain.

What’s Next?

The Newsom administration is asking early childhood advocates, leaders, and researchers to develop a master plan to solve the issues surrounding early childhood education. An independent team of researches and experts will be working on developing an actionable plan based on current and previous research reports by October 2020. A 27-member Early Childhood Policy Council- consisting diverse stakeholders from across the state- is currently being established to review and implement this plan.

While this is certainly not an easy task, Head Start California will be working with this administration and the Legislature to ensure that the kids and families we serve will be supported by the governor’s master plan. We applaud Governor Newsom and his investment in early childhood in his first term, and we know there’s still so much work to be done. We look forward to partnering with the Governor and Legislature to keep the momentum going into 2020!