Early Childhood and the Governor’s Proposed 2019-20 Budget
The Governor is making interesting proposals to cover 6 months of paid leave after childbirth, expanded child care, develop universal pre-school available to all 4 year olds and assure full day kindergarten for all children.
California already has 6 weeks of paid family leave after childbirth financed through the State Disability Insurance Program (SDI). The Governor wants to move California towards 6 months of paid family leave – a policy common in European and other developed economies and many of the state’s most successful businesses. The Administration will convene a task force to assess how to finance the expansion and to coordinate with existing family leave policies through employment.
Over one fifth of schools do not offer full day kindergarten. The budget proposes $750 million in one time General Fund to see that all schools are offering full day kindergarten for kids and their parents.
The Governor proposes to develop universal pre-school available to all 4 year olds. In 2019-20 and thereafter, funding will be available for all low income 4 year olds -- $125 million. The budget shifts $297 million to help pay for expanding pre-school. A task force will develop the plan for universal pre-K for all 4 year olds.
The budget proposes $500 million one tine General Fund to expand subsidized child care and better train the child care workforce. It also proposes $247 million in one time General Fund for child care for CSU students. Finally it proposes $10 million for a University of CA study on universal pre-school and a much-improved child care system. This will include shared responsibility among parents, government and business.
The budget proposes $347 million General Fund to increase CalWorks grants for poor children to 50% of the federal poverty level ($888 a month for a family of three.
The budget proposes $121 million in grants to help low income students with dependent children attend UC, CSU or community colleges.
The budget proposes $60 million (1/2 General Fund) for screenings for childhood developmental screenings and $45 million (1/2 General Fund) for screening of adverse child events.
The budget proposes $79 million for home visitation services for children 0-3 to help low income families with parenting and employment.
The budget proposes $50 million in seed funding to help establish child savings accounts for college tuition and expenses.
Prepared by: Lucien Wulsin