June 11, 2019- The Legislature and Governor Newsom have agreed to an early childhood budget for 19-20 that helps the whole child, the whole family and the whole community. In particular, we welcome the sweeping fiscal and policy changes that will give families in CalWORKs reliable, quality child care and open opportunities for parents to get ahead and stay ahead.
This is a huge victory for parents like Belia from Fresno County. The County removed her child care subsidy just as she was transitioning to work, forcing her back into poverty instead of ahead to economic security. Silvia, a parent living in Alameda County, was never told that she was eligible for child care, once she started working. In Northern California, county agencies required Katie to obtain and submit 11 child care authorizations in 16 months.
Belia, Silvia and Katie – and many other parent members of Parent Voices – told legislators of their experiences as part of their advocacy campaign to win funding and policy changes for families.
“Parents are more than story tellers – their expertise drives two-generation impacts,” said Mary Ignatius of Parent Voices California. “Everyone wins when we rely on their knowledge and lived experience to create solutions.”
We’d like to thank Senator Holly Mitchell for her incredible leadership, Governor Newsom, and the Budget Conference Committee members. Their work will create more equity and lift up more than 22,000 families who will now have the reliable child care they need to improve their prospects.
This campaign would not have been as successful without the Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education, which prioritized this reform, nor without the tireless work of our co-sponsors: SEIU, United Domestic Workers, and Health & Human Services Network. We appreciate our partners in the County Welfare Directors Association and Department of Social Services, and hundreds of supporters from diverse groups and perspectives – including the Stronger California Network and the End Child Poverty Campaign. Most significantly, this success would not have been possible but for the hundreds of parents who took time from their families and jobs to testify, write, comment and speak with media.
We look forward to working with the Department of Social Services, the counties, and child care agencies to quickly implement these new policies and create #CaliforniaForAll.
Parent Voices California and the Child Care Law Center together bring justice and opportunity to families who need child care, so everyone in our community can work, live and raise their families with dignity. The families who were being harmed by unjust policies have been the key to creating these fairer, and ultimately more effective, policies.