Gov Signs California Budget with Multiyear Early Childhood Investments 

The 2016-17 Budget:

Helps stabilize the early learning
system by increasing reimbursements
for early childhood providers

Expands access to full-day state
preschool for an additional 9,000
children in coming years

Does not include the proposal to
eliminate transitional kindergarten
so TK remains strong kindergarten
readiness option for as many as
125,000 children and families

On January 27, 2016, Governor Brown signed the 2016-17 California state budget—and it’s a strong investment in young children and the adults who care for and educate them! The budget includes significant multiyear investments beginning with an additional $147 million in 2016-17 that is expected to grow to more than $500 million in 2019-20. These investments expand early childhood opportunities, sustain the infrastructure of early education and care programs, and set the stage for progress in the future.

Send a thank you! Click here to send a thank you note to Governor Brown, legislative leadership, Legislative Women’s Caucus, and budget leaders for prioritizing children in the budget.

The budget includes the following investments:

  • Provider Reimbursement Rates: Starting January 1, 2017, invests additional $67.6 million to increase standard reimbursement rates and $69.9 million to increase regional market reimbursement rates to address the minimum wage increase and help providers cover the cost of care. The amounts are expected to grow with minimum wage increases.
  • Access: Starting March 1, 2017, invests additional $7.8 million to provide access to full-day state preschool for nearly 3,000 eligible children. Over four years, nearly 9,000 full-day state preschool slots will be added for $100 million.
  • Early Childhood Workforce: Invests $1.4 million for Los Angeles Trade-Tech Community College to provide job training, mentoring and college courses through an Early Care and Education Apprenticeship Pilot Program.
  • Quality: Requires the California Department of Education to develop a new quality funding expenditure plan that shall prioritize activities that support the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS).

In more good news, transitional kindergarten (TK) is officially safe and remains law! During the budget process, the Legislature rejected the proposal to merge early childhood funding and eliminate TK, a proven kindergarten readiness program. We thank them and the many K-12, early childhood, equity, faith, business, labor, and public safety leaders, and more than 3,200 mothers and other Californians, who voiced their support for TK.

This year’s investments were essential to stabilizing early learning programs, but there is more work ahead and we’re now well positioned to make greater progress in the future. We should aim to provide more young children with higher quality early experiences that support their development and learning for success in school and life. We should also ensure the adults working with children are truly supported and prepared to promote the best outcomes for young children. There’s already promise for the future with the development of the Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Care and Education, which will map out how we can better serve our children from birth to age 5.

Please join us in thanking policymakers for their staunch support for young children this year. We thank the Brown Administration for engaging in a meaningful conversation about early learning, legislative leadership for standing up for investments in children, and the Legislative Women’s Caucus for prioritizing children, parents and providers in the budget. We’re also grateful for the Legislature’s dedication to TK and for the Speaker’s commitment to establishing a forward-thinking Blue Ribbon Commission.

Today we celebrate and thank policymakers, cross-sector advocates, and early childhood supporters like you! We look forward to continuing to build on the progress that California has made this year so that we can help lift families out of poverty, narrow the achievement gap, and set children on a path to success.

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