16th Jan 2019

Pathways LA on Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2019-20 Budget Proposal

A statement regarding Governor Newsom’s Budget Proposal

While we’re encouraged by Governor Newsom’s budget proposals aimed at providing critical services for newborns and expanded access to preschool for all of California’s children age four and older, the Administration has not mentioned any additional funding to increase access to child care for low-income children 3 and younger. 

Currently, only 14 percent of children under age 2 who are eligible for subsidized child care in California are actually enrolled. Families need affordable child care in order to work, go to interviews, or to gain career training, and many low-income parents work non-traditional schedules requiring child care on evenings and weekends.

We look forward to working with California’s leaders to best meet the needs of the vulnerable families we serve.” – Paul Pulver, Executive Director, Pathways LA

Governor Newsom’s Guiding Principles for Early Childhood

The $209 billion budget includes funding for what the Governor calls a “strong foundation” for California’s future. This includes various funding for education and human services that will directly impact the community served by Pathways LA.

The first section of the Budget Summary includes powerful values and strategy statements on Early Childhood:

Providing children in California with a healthy start is one of the best investments the state can make. A growing body of research points to the link between early childhood interventions and improved outcomes years or even decades into the future: higher education levels, better health, and stronger career opportunities.

Investing in early childhood enables these outcomes in the future while strengthening families and reducing child poverty immediately.

The frame work adopted in this budget promotes a healthy start in three ways:
(1) early access for children to educational and health care services, including services for those with adverse childhood experiences,
(2) a two-generation approach that invests in parents so they can invest more in their children, and
(3) easing financial pressures on parents so they can escape the cycle of poverty and focus on healthy development of their kids in those critical first five years of a child’s life.

 

At Pathways LA, we couldn’t agree more with the Governor’s framework and values for investing in a healthy start for all children, easing the financial pressures so parents can escape the cycle of poverty, and a two-generation approach that invests in parents so they can invest more in their children.

Strengthening families and helping both parents and children break the cycle of poverty are key values for Pathways LA.

The Governor’s proposed funding for Early Childhood Programs

Child Care and Early Learning

Universal Full Day Kindergarten:

  • $750 million in one-time, non-Proposition 98 funding toward activities to reduce barriers to Full Day Kindergarten for all children

Universal Preschool: 

  • $124 million in non-Proposition 98 General Fund for Full Day, Full Year access for all eligible low income 4-year-olds with additional funds in subsequent years to reach 200,000 slots.
  • Elimination of parent enrollment for work or higher education [as a requirement] for full day preschool enrollment.
  • A shift of $297 million from Proposition 98 to non 98 to create a single funding source for preschool which can be maximized in contracts and provide flexibility.
  • Improved access and quality of subsidized care by providing $500 million one-time money from the General Fund to expand subsidized child care facilities in the state and invest in the childcare workforce.

Long Term Child Care Plan:

  • Creation of a comprehensive plan for a more aligned child care system by matching the $10 million federal Preschool Development Grant with $10 million in State General Fund resources to develop a long term strategic plan which will:
    • Provide a framework including needed revenues to implement a comprehensive, high quality child care system in California
    • Outline ways to simplify the subsidized child care system and increase access to subsidies, and
    • Reflect the principle of shared responsibility and outline the appropriate role for government, businesses and parents in meeting child care needs.

Additional Highlights in Early Childhood include:

  • 3.46% Cost of Living Adjustment for Education Programs
  • $119.4 million increase in CalWORKs Stages 2 and 3 to reflect increased caseloads from family eligibility and 12 month eligibility
  • $26.8 million for full year implementation of prior year State Preschool slots
  • Increasing CalWORKs grants to 50% of the Federal Poverty Level
  • Increased child support enforcement

Early Childhood Health and Wellness

Adverse Childhood Experiences Screenings:

  • $45 million to the Department of Health Care Services

Developmental Screenings:

  • $60 million to the Department of Health Care Services

Home Visiting:

  • $79.9 million to provide Home Visiting services to CalWORKs Families, and
  • $30.5 million in expanded Home Visiting programs in the Black Infant Health Program in the Department of Public Health

Paid Family Leave:

  • The creation of a Task Force to phase in and expand Paid Family Leave to six months

Child Savings Account

To support and encourage families to build assets for their children’s post-secondary education, the Administration proposes $50 million one-time General Fund to support pilot projects and partnerships with First 5 California, local First 5 Commissions, local government, and philanthropy.