Photo: Jodi Delfino/Child Development Centers
Children play outside at Presidio Child Development Centers in Monterey, CA.
This article was updated at 5:10 p.m. with a quote from Assemblywoman Limón.

Child care subsidies for low-income and at-risk children will not be cut under the 2020-21 California budget agreement reached by the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom this week.

Newsom had originally proposed to cut the payments for subsidized child care providers by 10%.

“It’s absolutely wonderful that these cuts were rejected,” said Keisha Nzewi, director of public policy for the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network, made up of agencies in every county that help parents find child care and help providers get training and licensing.“To a lot of providers that I talked to, they felt like a 10 % cut would mean they would have to cut their assistant or they wouldn’t be able to pay their mortgage or their rent. Just the thought of that was a lot to carry during this time.”

The budget still slashes major investments made in last year’s budget that would have expanded state-subsidized preschool to 10,000 more children, built new preschool and child care facilities and increased training for early childhood teachers. Also gone is a plan to create a new department for early learning and care that would oversee all child care programs.

The cuts are an attempt to balance the budget, since the state is projecting a large drop in income and sales tax revenue and more expenses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The new budget also brings good news for essential workers and some child care providers affected by the coronavirus. The Legislature and governor are extending free child care for essential workers for 90 days, with federal funding from the CARES Act. In addition, those workers will get priority for available year-long subsidized slots, if they meet the income requirement. Families qualify if their income is less than 85% of the state median income, or $84,822 for a family of four.

Child care providers who receive subsidies for low-income children will be able to continue to receive those subsidies for another year, even if the children are absent or parents choose not to send their children because of Covid-19.

“To be able to have that type of stability and know what kind of income they will have each month will also go a long way to make sure more providers are able to stay in business through the crisis,” said Nzewi.

If Congress passes another federal aid bill, the HEROES act, including funding for child care, California plans to spend $150 million of that on additional subsidized child care for about 15,000 more children, and $150 million toward helping child care providers reopen and pay for additional supplies and staff to meet health and safety guidelines.

Assemblywoman Monique Limón (D — Santa Barbara), vice chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, celebrated the agreement.

“The pandemic and economic crisis reveal not just an impact on working parents, but in particular to women in California, who often take the lead with child care responsibilities,” Limón said. “This budget deal helps all working parents but also focuses on not leaving women behind.”

Several leading organizations that advocate for more quality early education also praised the budget agreement. “The state’s commitment to protecting the child care infrastructure is a key step to enabling child care providers to address the ongoing impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economic well-being of families and the development and mental health of our youngest children,” said Scott Moore, CEO of Kidango, a nonprofit organization that runs more than 50 child care centers in the San Francisco Bay Area, in a press release.

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  1. Sherry Smith 1 week ago1 week ago

    Thank you for sharing

  2. under paid over worked and not appreciated 1 week ago1 week ago

    But did we get a pay increase? The state has had us doing hours and hours of training, making expensive changes to our programs, asking more and more. Asking us to watch children with difficult hours. Newsom got a pay increase. He promised us a pay increase. We work long, hard hours over 12 hrs a day. And that doesn't include cleanup or prep for the next day. Many providers make less than $30,000. The … Read More

    But did we get a pay increase? The state has had us doing hours and hours of training, making expensive changes to our programs, asking more and more. Asking us to watch children with difficult hours. Newsom got a pay increase. He promised us a pay increase. We work long, hard hours over 12 hrs a day. And that doesn’t include cleanup or prep for the next day.

    Many providers make less than $30,000. The cost of food has risen, we throw out so much food, children won’t eat a vegetable. They only want junk food, pizza chicken nuggets. Parent don’t let us know that the child won’t be there. They don’t or can’t pay us the difference in cost.

  3. María Cisneros 1 week ago1 week ago

    Thank you

  4. Norma 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    It should be a really good idea to request some college education to all providers in charge of children – at least 25 units in early childhood education.It is very sad to see how people open daycare with no education at all. Children need to be raised in a high quality daycare. Mental health is very important and I don’t see how they can grow in an environment where they don’t have a clue of … Read More

    It should be a really good idea to request some college education to all providers in charge of children – at least 25 units in early childhood education.It is very sad to see how people open daycare with no education at all. Children need to be raised in a high quality daycare. Mental health is very important and I don’t see how they can grow in an environment where they don’t have a clue of early childhood education. Being a parent or grandparent is not enough. It is time to request education to all providers if we want a better society!

  5. Michele M Rutherford 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    Thank you for the article on early education and the state budget. Providers are under such immense pressures. And the 10% cut would have reduced families access to care. We are already seeing providers closing or struggling to reopen. Alameda County CC Emergency Response Team (Social Services Agency, ECE Program/Planning Council, First 5, CC R&R's, and Alameda County Office of Education) have been working diligently since March to coordinate access for … Read More

    Thank you for the article on early education and the state budget. Providers are under such immense pressures. And the 10% cut would have reduced families access to care. We are already seeing providers closing or struggling to reopen. Alameda County CC Emergency Response Team (Social Services Agency, ECE Program/Planning Council, First 5, CC R&R’s, and Alameda County Office of Education) have been working diligently since March to coordinate access for essential worker families, provide coordinated up-to-date messaging to the field through email blasts, webinars, and listening sessions, coordinate material and supply emergency resources (diapers, sanitizer, gloves, no-touch thermometers, etc.), business and financial supports for providers, putting into place health and mental health consultation and advocating at the state. Your coverage of this important sector is greatly appreciated.

  6. Susana 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    Awesome News. Many parents need this help.

  7. Yvonne Flowers 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    Thank you for passing this bill, Governor Newsom. I have a small daycare and I was worried about what was going to happen next month. I have not closed and stayed open for my parents that needed service for their children. It’s been hard especially when you’re not sure what’s going to happen ahead. So I thank you for passing this bill – for myself and my parents that receives subsidy.

  8. Julie 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    I am a large licensed provider that feared closing due to my families not emotionally ready and fearing sending kids back to daycare. I have all subsidy kids so without this passing I wasn’t gonna be able to stay open any longer. I have been open since day one and serve about 10 kids currently of essential workers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart❤️

  9. Leticia 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    I am so happy that a lot of people has been envolved on how to support Early Child Education, that is the first foundation for all the little ones, but also encourage families to keep working, knowing that their children are in a safe, and healthy preschool, childcare etc.
    One more important item to say, that you all are supporting teachers to get more educated, and well paid.

    Thanks so much we appreciate your support!!!