Quality early care and education are critical to prepare California children for school and their lives in general. But a large percentage of children do not have access to high quality early childhood education programs. The state restored a large share of the preschool and child care slots eliminated during the recession, and has invested more in full-day programs. Early childhood advocates, parents, and providers are eagerly awaiting implementation of a series of reforms proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has made early education a central policy pillar of his administration. He has promised universal access to all low-income 4 year olds by the end of his first term, along with full-kindergarten. He is also promising major expansion of prenatal services, and services for children beginning at birth such as family home visits.
Here are a half-dozen K-12 and early education bills that the governor vetoed or signed on the last day crunch — and why.
Advocates agree with governor's call for more planning before new early childhood funds are spent.
The classes are part of a state program to help children in foster care find and enroll in child care programs.
The new law requires doctors to screen children enrolled in Medi-Cal for developmental delays three times before they turn 3.
If the bill is approved, California will join 14 other states and the District of Columbia in requiring districts to offer full-day kindergarten.
Child care can change the lives of homeless children and their parents. Two counties are trying to help enroll them in free programs.
Legislation could increase teacher pay at subsidized centers serving low-income children.
California's size and diversity make universal preschool or extended paid leave a feat in some ways comparable to a national effort.
California is on the brink of making huge investments in young children, and EdSource is tracking 27 early childhood bills introduced in the Legislature this session.
Under the agreement, all 4-year-olds living in low-income neighborhoods would be eligible for state-subsidized preschool, with priority for low-income children first.
Proposals by Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislators would provide financial aid and ease the permitting process.
Newsom proposes funding for subsidized childcare, disabled students and a loan program for special education, math and science teachers.
Gov. Newsom adds funds for childcare vouchers, expanded preschool for low-income children, though not as quickly as planned.
Gov. Newsom proposes more K-12, community college funds; loan forgiveness for new special education, math and science teachers.
If small children aren’t accurately counted, California could potentially get less federal funding than needed for programs such as Head Start.