Budget Signed, California Shows Commitment to Early Childhood Education
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Early childhood advocates praise the California Legislature and Governor Newsom’s commitment to providing funding and resources to programs aimed at children aged 0-5. On June 27, Governor Newsom signed the 2019-20 budget that provides significant increases and investments for early learning initiatives. Head Start California applauds legislative leaders, budget conference committee chairs, and the Governor for about $1.8 billion for early childhood programs and initiatives to improve access to child care and preschool and the early childhood education workforce. Head Start California welcomes these investments and thanks legislators and the Governor for inclusive language that creates eligibility to these grant opportunities for Head Start programs and language related to development of a state plan for early education that recognizes the role of Head Start. Included in the new facilities grant program is a provision championed by Assembly Member Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) that converts the child care facilities loan program into a grant program. Head Start California worked with partners and Mr. Mullin on this language and appreciates the legislature and administration making sure it is contained in the final budget. “The way we spend our money is an expression of our values. This budget demonstrates a real commitment by Governor Newsom and the legislature to help more struggling families with young children – and that’s what Head Start is all about. While there is much more that needs to done, this budget is an important and significant step on the path to a comprehensive plan for more access to affordable quality care,” said Christopher Maricle, executive director of Head Start California. Not included in the budget is additional funding for Head Start. Head Start California and a coalition of health and anti-poverty groups joined together earlier this year to request $20 million to support Head Start and Early Head Start programs, which serve infants, toddlers and children up to age 5, and pregnant women with intensive comprehensive child development and family support services.