Sacramento –Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) introduced AB 393 to support the transfer of child care and development programs from the California Department of Education (CDE) to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). The transition will create a more equitable and integrated child care and social safety net system for families, children and providers.
“The current nature of California’s early learning and care system involves a variety of state departments, a mixed methods delivery system, and the inclusion of a diverse array of stakeholders with varied needs,” said Assemblymember Reyes. “With a strong, centralized governance structure for all child care and development programs, California can more effectively support the needs of children, families, and providers as we emerge from the ongoing pandemic.”
Access to comprehensive child care and developmental programs dramatically improves opportunity for socioeconomic mobility for low-income families. Providing supportive, nurturing early care and education during the first five years of life enhances a child’s opportunity to succeed in the K-12 system, higher education, and the workforce.
“We are proud to work with Assemblymember Reyes to co-sponsor AB 393,” said the Child Care Resource Center of California. “The transition of child care programs from the California Department of Education to the California Department of Social Services will require partnership between local child care and state agencies to ensure a process which will preserve and protect services and set the foundation for a more robust and integrated child care system in the future.”
Recognizing the critical importance of this issue, Assembly Speaker Rendon created the Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) for Early Childhood Education in 2016. The BRC also discovered that early childhood programs are currently governed by a bifurcated system scattered across departments.
In response to this reality, Governor Newsom requested funding to develop a Master Plan for Early Learning and Care in 2019. The following year, the Governor’s Budget enacted the Early Childhood Development Act of 2020, which required the transfer of child care and development programs to CDSS.
Both the BRC report and The Master Plan for Early Learning and Care build upon past recommendations and research to create a roadmap for this transition. AB 393 helps complete the ongoing transfer of child care and development programs from CDE to CDSS, as funded by the 2020-21 Budget. "This bill will help California advance towards a more streamlined early learning and care system that fully meets the comprehensive needs of children and families with a whole-child and two-generation approach," said Scott Moore, CEO of Kidango, an early learning nonprofit.
AB 393 will support an early childhood system that uplifts the voices of parents and providers and addresses the comprehensive needs of California’s children in light of the pandemic.