California Department of Education 2009-10 Incentives for Child Care Staff Retention Report to the Legislature
The Legislature has made available $15 million in each of the last eight fiscal years for child care staff retention activities conducted by the Local Child Care and Development Planning Councils throughout California.
In accordance with the enabling legislation (Chapter 547, Statutes of 2000), the California Department of Education (CDE) developed guidelines for administering the program, and these guidelines were approved as required by the Department of Finance and the Office of the Secretary of Education. The guidelines describe what items must be addressed in the local child care staff retention plans. Alpine, Mariposa and Sierra counties do not have any state-subsidized center-based programs located in their area and therefore do not qualify to receive funding for the purposes of this legislation. The remaining 55 counties received a funding allocation based on the amount of state-subsidized center-based contracts in their county.
In accordance with California Education Code 8279.7(f), Attachment A presents a listing of funds by county that were distributed in the 2008-09 fiscal year. All participating counties have chosen to use this funding to provide stipends to eligible child care staff to allow staff to pursue additional education, thereby increasing their likelihood of remaining in the field. In accordance with the legislation and the approved guidelines described above, funds have been spent on planning and administrative costs associated with implementation of the approved county plans.
The CDE has maximized the impact of these funds by joining in a partnership with the First 5 California Children and Families Commission and local First 5 California Children and Families Commissions. First 5 funds can be used for non-state subsidized centers and family child care home providers.
The “California Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards for the Early Learning Workforce” (CARES) project encourages local county commissions to devise ways to improve retention by providing incentives for child care staff to stay in the field. These programs increase salaries and/or benefits for committed professionals without shifting the burden of these additional costs to families.