A Good Start for Our Children
We must get people back to work if our economic recovery is to continue. But child care options have been limited, often forcing at least one parent to stay home or single parents to leave the workforce. Hundreds of thousands of families actually qualify for subsidized child care programs but haven't been able to access them due to the lack of slots.
Fortunately, there are now resources available to these families. Our latest state budget adds 200,000 subsidized child care slots over the next four years.
Many child care facilities closed during the pandemic; that's why we've included some incentives in California's fiscal plan to stabilize and expand this industry. As Assembly Budget Chair, I fought to increase the wages of child care providers. They haven't seen a raise in four years and deserve one because their services are valuable. There's also financial assistance for child care businesses impacted by COVID-19 and grants to expand or renovate these facilities. For more information on state child care services, go to www.cdss.ca.gov.
The state is also taking a big step in early childhood education, putting us on a path to Universal Transitional Kindergarten (TK), which would make a new grade available to all 4-year-olds in our state. Many experts believe this is crucial to closing the achievement gap, as 90 percent of brain growth happens before kindergarten.
When we combine TK with a historic increase in infant-toddler child care, we are transforming the lives of young children and their families with our new state budget. It's my mission to keep the momentum going, and I'm so glad we were able to make so much progress on it this year.
Assemblymember, 19th District
P.S. A reminder that I'm hosting a Virtual Town Hall on Homelessness on August 31st at 5:00 pm. Click here for details.