SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First 5 Association of California and First 5 California today cheered Governor Newsom’s signing of a budget that will make a historic investment of more than $2 billion in California’s young children and their families.
“With this budget, the governor makes clear that his administration prioritizes young children and families as a key element of realizing a ‘California for All,’” said Moira Kenney, executive director of First 5 Association of California, which represents the state’s 58 First 5 county commissions. “When we support children in the earliest years, we not only shape the course of their lives, we shape our future as a state.”
Governor Newsom’s “California for All” budget includes more than $2 billion in early childhood funding that will directly advance policies and priorities First 5 has championed for decades. These include supporting early care and education; increasing developmental screening rates; identifying childhood trauma; expanding funding for home visiting; and expanding paid family leave and tax credits for working families.
Key early childhood elements of the 2019–20 budget include:
- Increasing take-home pay for working families through the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC)
- Expanding Paid Family Leave by two weeks, to a total of 8 weeks
- Supporting pediatricians to screen children for developmental delays
- Improving the identification of early childhood trauma
- Increasing funding for home visiting programs that include services such as parent coaching and prenatal counseling, which will build upon programs established by local First 5s
- Exempting diapers from sales tax
- Allocating $50 million for child savings accounts for college
Expanding access to child care by providing:
- 30,000 more child care spaces to low-income children
- $273 million for building additional child care facilities
- $195 million for developing and retaining the child care workforce
- $300 million for schools to expand to full-day kindergarten
- $20 million to integrate child care data across agencies
In addition, the governor’s budget creates workgroups to determine how to expand Paid Family Leave to six months, and to design an Early Care and Education Master Plan with a key goal of realizing universal preschool for all three- and four-year-olds.
“Today, we start a new chapter in California’s story, and it’s about meeting the needs of young children and families in a comprehensive way,” said Camille Maben, executive director of First 5 California. “We look forward to continue working with the administration and legislators to ensure our children thrive in their schools, communities, and lives.”
About First 5 Association
First 5 Association of California is the voice of the 58 First 5 county commissions, which were created by voters in 1998 to ensure our kids are healthy, safe, and ready to learn. Together, First 5 touches the lives of more than one million kids, families, and caregivers each year, and strengthens our state by giving kids the best start in life. Learn more: www.first5association.org.
About First 5 California
First 5 California was established in 1998 when voters passed Proposition 10, which taxes tobacco products to fund services for children ages 0 to 5 and their families. First 5 California programs and resources are designed to educate and support teachers, parents, and caregivers in the critical role they play during a child's first five years – to help California kids receive the best possible start in life and thrive. For more information, please visit www.ccfc.ca.gov.