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 coronavirus pandemic has caused financial strife for early learning programs trying to meet health and safety guidelines and keep staff and children safe. But the public health crisis has also illuminated the essential nature of the early learning and care field and reinvigorated hopes to expand preschool access to more children.
With a continuing surge in revenue, the governor would expand community schools and create a $500 college savings account for every low-income first grader.
This roughly $1.8 trillion package sets aside big money for key early childhood initiatives as part of its vast cradle-to-college agenda.
The proposed legislation to champion childhood comes at a time when the pandemic has widened the gap between the rich and the poor.
Causes for the slide in enrollment are myriad, complicated by existing trends including declining birthrates and people's continued exodus from the state, as well as the sudden economic chaos wrought by the pandemic.
Universal high-quality preschool for three- and four-year-olds is a proven way to reduce the opportunity gap, lift families out of poverty, and stimulate the local economy.
The report arrives just as momentum builds to expand access to both transitional kindergarten and state-funded preschool.
Los Angeles Unified, the state's largest district, reopened for in-person learning amid ongoing lawsuits from parents pushing for a full reopening.
Child care is far more than just babysitting, advocates say, it’s building the architecture of the brain at a pivotal stage in construction.
After being apart from each other for so long, children may need to be retrained on how to socialize before they can be ready to learn.
California, with almost 3 million children under age 5, stands to receive about $3.8 billion in federal relief.
Returning to community college was no easy feat as a single mother and first-generation, low-income college student.
Without kindergarten to help build critical skills in reading and math, some students may fall behind.
Under the deal, $2 billion in incentives would require opening up all elementary grades and partially middle and high schools in the “red tier.”
More than a third of parents surveyed said they have skipped meals or had to cut back on food for the children as a result of the pandemic.
Preschool teachers and child care workers earn 38% less than their colleagues in the K-8 system, the report says.