October 18, 2018
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Applauds Legislation to Increase Early Learning and Child Care Access Statewide
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson applauded the Governor and Legislature for passing a law that addresses inequities in early learning and care programs. It makes eligibility requirements for early learning and care the same regardless of which county the parents live in, and increases access to early learning and care for working families.
The Statewide Equity Bill, Assembly Bill 2626, was sponsored by Torlakson and authored by Assembly Member Kevin Mullin, District 22. It was signed by Governor Brown in September and takes effect on July 1, 2019.
“Poverty and lack of access to services are a problem for rural California families while those living in metropolitan areas often struggle with high costs of living and housing shortages. These issues pose challenges to meeting the early care and education needs of working families,” Torlakson said. “Policies are causing inequities for child care providers and early learning services, as reimbursement rates may differ from county to county. This bill is the first step to resolve these issues.”
“Working together, teaming up, we can set students up for success—so they come to school ready to learn—curious, inquisitive, engaged—ready to discover their inner strengths and ready to dream big and go far,” he said.
Assembly Bill 2626 implements the following changes:
- Expands age eligibility and removes restrictions for children that can be served in a California State Preschool Program (CSPP).
- Provides better workforce stability by providing staff development opportunities.
- Increases the State Median Income (SMI) initial eligibility threshold in order to expand the number of working families that are eligible for services (e.g. from $63,083 to $76,601 for a family of four).
- Provides several different ways for contractors to more fully expend their existing funding. Under the bill, contractors can enroll children with higher incomes, serve more three-year olds in State Preschool, and spend two days of their contract on professional development for their staff.
- Offers more opportunities for voluntary temporary transfer of funds between individual contractors than offered in the past. This will allow contractors to better utilize available funding.
To learn more about early learning and care programs in California, please view the CDE Early Learning and Care Program Overview web page.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100