Gov. Newsom highlights $2.3 billion for early-childhood programs in new budget

On Thursday, August 8, Governor Gavin Newsom highlighted his historic investment in early childhood education of over $2 billion in this year’s budget, and his commitment to creating and implementing a master plan for early education to ensure that all children in California have the critical foundation they need for healthy development and learning in the earliest years. The $2 billion down payment immediately expands California children’s access to quality education and health care, funds a two-generation strategy that invests in parents so they can invest in their children, and eases some of the financial pressures on parents to help them provide opportunities for their children and achieve economic security for their families.

“Investing in our youngest Californians is the best investment we can make, and I made a commitment to support the youngest Californians and their parents so that they can get a quality education, good health care, and other things they need to have successful lives,” said Governor Newsom.

Specifically, the 2019-20 state budget included $2.3 billion in the following early childhood investments:

  • $300 million for full-day kindergarten facilities and addressing barriers to full-day kindergarten programs
  • $5 million to develop a long-term Master Plan for Early Learning and Care
  • $143.3 million to increase access to subsidized child care for 12,400 income eligible children ages 0-12
  • $56.4 million ($70.5 million ongoing) for continuous access to CalWORKs child care in Stage 1 for up to 12 months
  • $31.4 million ($124.9 million ongoing) to increase access to State Preschool for 10,000 income-eligible children in community-based organizations. Expand eligibility to all families in school attendance areas where at least 80 percent of students qualify either for free or reduced price meals.
  • $263 million for early learning and care facilities (centers and family child care homes)
  • $195 million for education/training grants and other supports for the early learning and care workforce
  • $20 million for childcare data, which will complement an additional $10 million provided to develop the Cradle to Career data system.

The budget also expanded California’s Paid Family Leave program from 6 weeks to 8 weeks for each parent, so that children can be cared for by a parent for the first four months of the child’s life, making progress toward the Governor’s goal of ensuring that parents have access to Paid Family Leave for 6 months.

Today, the Governor toured the Hope Street Family Center in Los Angeles, which provides resources in health, education and recreation to over 5,000 children every year. He was joined by Senator Holly Mitchell, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago and Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, young students and teachers.

This was the second stop in his Southern California tour focusing on affordability for California families. Yesterday, Governor Newsom visited a legal aid clinic in Los Angeles that provides assistance to renters facing eviction and homeowners facing foreclosure.

“We need to be innovative, creative and visionary by imagining the early learning and care system we want for families and children, especially when one in five children live in poverty in our state. That is inexcusable, and we need to be doing more,” added Newsom.

The article above was released by the office of the Governor of the State of California.