SACRAMENTO -- Today, Governor Jerry Brown released the May Revise, his revised budget proposal based on the latest revenue estimates. Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, and Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), vice-chair, released the following statement in continued support of $800 million in additional funding for state child care programs in this year’s budget.
Jackson said, “The budget isn’t just about our purse strings, it’s also about our priorities. It’s fitting that Governor Brown included a children’s story in his release of the May Revise today, because the California Legislative Women’s Caucus has been and remains committed to prioritizing a strong investment in early care and education so children can learn and parents can work. An investment in our earliest learners is prudent, keeps Californians working and prevents costly academic interventions and consequences later on.”
Garcia said, “As we examine the details of the May Revise in the coming days and weeks, child care will continue to remain a priority for the Women’s Caucus. In this day and age, we simply cannot continue to ignore the importance of child care for ensuring a strong economy and workforce. When parents cannot find or afford child care, the economy loses out on workers and children miss out on opportunities to gain an important foundation for academic success. A wise investment in early education that starts at birth is an investment in children and our future workforce. “
Over the past two years, the Women’s Caucus has helped restore more than $500 million into child care and preschool programs, reinstating child care and preschool for more than 45,000 children. Yet even with last year’s additional money and record increases in Proposition 98 funding, the state offered 50,000 fewer child care slots than it did in 2008-09. Even before the recession hit, California had approximately 200,000 children on waiting lists. Now, that need is estimated at close to 300,000.