Sacramento –Legislation that will provide a historic investment in the state’s childcare system and reorganize California’s role in early childhood education (ECE) authored by Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D- San Bernardino) Chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee passed out of committee.
The two bills passed unanimously in Human Services Committee include:
AB 6- Creates the “Early Childhood Education Branch” within the California Department of Education, and tasks it with responsibilities related to the coordinated provision of high-quality early childhood education and related services
AB 194- Requires $1 billion to be put towards improving eligible children’s and families’ access to subsidized child care services.
“Providing quality childcare to our infants and toddlers is imperative if we want to help uplift working families.” Assemblymember Reyes continued, “Currently, 8 out of every 9 children eligible for child care are not receiving it. This bill is the first major step in investing in these infants, toddlers, and their families, ensuring they have the access to the developmentally crucial resource that is quality child care. Together this package of bills demonstrates the commitment of the Legislature to addressing one of the most critical needs facing every parent and child in California. Providing support and stability to our working families is fundamental to our state’s future.”
California has 1.2 million children who are eligible for state-subsidized childcare but are unable to access that care. AB 194 provides that it is the intent of the Legislature to appropriate $1 billion to immediately improve access to subsidized childcare for the state’s eligible children and families in need, contingent upon the appropriation of sufficient funding in the annual state Budget.
Mounting research shows that high-quality early care and education programs equip young children with the social, emotional, and cognitive skills they need to be ready to enter kindergarten and have a brighter future.
The ECE landscape in California is complex and multifaceted, involving a number of state and local agencies and entities. AB 6 establishes a state-level Early Childhood Education Branch to help coordinate, provide leadership for, and support the breadth of traditional ECE and ECE-related programs serving and available to children and their families.
Assemblymember Reyes is a member of the Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education which is tasked with planning an early learning system that works for children, families and providers. On March 11, 2019, draft recommendations were released. One recommendation, under governance and administration, was to “Establish an augmented Division or Office for Early Childhood Education in CDE with sufficient resources and staff to implement recommendations.” AB 6 is an answer to that recommendation.
Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes represents Assembly District 47 which includes the cities of Fontana, Rialto, Colton, Grand Terrace, San Bernardino and the unincorporated areas of Muscoy and Bloomington.