Women's Caucus Leaders on May Revise: Childcare Keeps Children Learning, Parents Working

May 14, 2015

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 additional funding for state childcare programs in this year’s state budget.

As part of their ‘Stronger California’ budget and legislative priorities, Democratic members of the Legislative Women’s Caucus are advocating for an investment of no less than $600 million to be dedicated to the state childcare system, distributed between modernizing rates and increasing slots, and are looking to Proposition 98 education funding dollars as a possible source of revenue.

“Fiscal responsibility includes making careful investments in our future. Childcare keeps children learning and parents working. Research continues to show how critical these very early years are for building a foundation for later academic success. By investing in our youngest learners and their early care, we will help ensure that they are ready for success in kindergarten, “ said Jackson. “Before the recession hit, a significant portion of state childcare funding was paid for through Proposition 98 education dollars. As we work to rebuild programs that have been decimated by budget cuts, it’s time for us to take a serious look at doing that again.”

“As a math teacher I know the value of a well-prepared student. Quality early care and education is the best way for a student start off their schooling on equal footing with their peers, and it allows teachers to teach to the whole class and spend less time on remediation. If we are really serious about our commitment to education and to our future workforce and economy, we need to renew our commitment to early care and education, “ said Garcia.

Estimates indicate that more than 300,000 children are waiting and eligible for state-subsidized childcare. Even with additional slots added in 2014-15, California is still only meeting 18% of the childcare needs.

###