On behalf of Head Start California, thank you for supporting and advocating for Head Start and Early Head Start programs. On June 27, Governor Newsom signed the 2019-20 budget that provides significant increases and investments for early learning initiatives. With your help, we demonstrated the importance of early intervention programs for our most at-risk children and families across California. Thank you!

Here is an update from this session:
Head Start Budget Request

While the $20 million allocation to Head Start did not make it into the final budget, we made significant progress in raising policymakers’ awareness of Head Start and Early Head Start programs and the important role these programs play in California’s most at-risk children whole child – whole family system of support. We built strong relationships with key legislators and laid the groundwork to be successful next year. Thank you for your advocacy and support!

Facilities Grants Funding

We are thrilled that $245 million for Early Learning and Care Infrastructure grants made it into the final budget and that language to ensure Head Start grantees (that are not local educational agencies) will be eligible for the grants. Also, an additional $18 million is being transferred from the child care facilities loan program for the infrastructure grants. The budget also provides another $10 million of prop 98 for the Inclusive Early Learning Education Expansion program.

We are also pleased that $195 million for one-time funding for the Child Care Early Learning & Care Workforce Development Grant was included in the final budget. Click here to read more.

AB 452 (ECE facilities grants bill) — the policy changes included in this bill are now in the education budget trailer bill.

On the Horizon

We will keep on watching AB 48 (Asm O’Donnell) which includes state and federally-funded preschool programs in the statewide school facilities bonds that will go before the voters in 2020 and 2022.; LEA-operated Head Start programs will be eligible. This will be the first time that preschool facilities are included in a statewide school facilities bond.

The way we spend our money is an expression of our values. Focusing on the state’s low-income families and at-risk infants, toddlers, and preschoolers is essential to combat child poverty. As 12 other states already do, it makes sense for California to invest in and leverage the federal investment that Head Start brings to California. Thank you for the progress we made towards this goal!

Thank you again for taking action on behalf of children and families this year. We look forward to working with you in 2020 and beyond to achieve strong investment for the next generation.