Lauds Advocacy within Administration to Restore Cuts
(Sacramento)-- Today, Governor Brown released his May Budget Revision for 2017-18, based on the latest revenue estimates. In it, the Governor upheld his promise to restore rate funding provided in the 2016 Budget as advocated by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus throughout the year and in an April letter to the Governor.
“Child care keeps California working and children learning,” said Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens). “I’m proud that the Governor worked with us to keep his promise to working families and their children. Proper funding for providers will positively impact the predominantly female workforce that delivers care to our children; the families who can remain working; and for the children who benefit now. They are California’s future workforce.”
In his Revision, increased provider rates reflect the current cost of doing business in the state. California is diverse with equally diverse child care needs. Raising rates across the child care delivery system empowers parents to use the care that best serves their families. Additionally, the child care workforce can earn a wage that allows them to remain slightly above poverty, which benefits the economic recovery of the state. Further, early care and education aid significantly in closing the achievement gap, particularly within communities of color.
“The California Legislative Women’s Caucus has made childcare a priority for more than a decade and today I am pleased that Governor Brown has agreed with the Caucus’ primary budget ask to make early childhood education a priority,” said Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino), Vice Chair of the Caucus. “The Governor’s May Revision upholds his promise on the multi-year commitment reflected in last year’s budget. I am grateful that childcare providers can continue to operate and provide services to the hardworking families of California.”
Last year, the Legislative Women’s Caucus developed a multi-year strategy that prioritized child care growth in the budget. In the 2016 Budget, rates for providers were promised but then “paused” this January due to revenue projections. Yet, for more than a decade drastic, long-lasting cuts to a system that has been chronically underfunded and underappreciated in deficit years persisted. Nonetheless, California working families continued to work and need services. Currently it is estimated that six out of seven children eligible for subsidized child care in California did not receive services from state programs with an estimated 1,479,000 of children eligible. The State of California served 218,000 children in subsidized child care last year.
The Caucus worked throughout this year with the Administration to uphold the 2016 Budget promise. However, additional slots are still needed to fill the unmet need of 85 percent of eligible California families who need child care to keep working, as previous funding only aided 15 percent of those eligible.
“As always, our work will continue on behalf of women, families and children,” added Garcia. “The Caucus will continue its mission to build-up services Californian’s need. That means adding more childcare slots so more families can work and more kids can learn. The Governor won’t rest on his laurels, and we won’t rest on our heels, to carry out our goals.”