Today's Law As Amended


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AB-167 Childcare and development services: infants and toddlers: state funding.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the California Partnership for Infants and Toddlers Act.
SEC. 2.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The first three years of life are uniquely important for a child’s growth and development, and set the foundation for lifelong health, well-being, and success. Young children’s experiences and interactions with parents, caregivers, and teachers shape the architecture of the brain and strengthen their cognitive, social, and emotional development.
(b) From birth, children experience wide disparities by income and race in access to opportunities for learning and development. These disparities grow into gaps before children even reach preschool or kindergarten. Two-year-old children from low-income families are already six months behind in language development compared to children from higher income families.
(c) Research shows that high-quality early learning experiences and critical support services have tremendous potential to improve young children’s cognitive and social-emotional development, particularly for children living in poverty.
(d) Only about 1 out of 10 of California’s low-income infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized childcare. Even fewer families have access to the quality early learning programs with comprehensive family support services that have the greatest positive impact on low-income infants and toddlers.
(e) Rigorous research shows infant and toddler early learning programs with high-quality standards and a two-generation approach demonstrate significant benefits to both children and parents. High-quality programs for infants and toddlers that combine skilled educators with health and family support services, including the federal Early Head Start program, the Infant Health and Development Program, and the Abecedarian Project, improve childrens’ cognitive, language, and social-emotional development, increase kindergarten readiness, and strengthen parenting skills.
(f) A stronger state commitment to fostering the healthy growth and development of low-income infants and toddlers and to supporting families will help close the school readiness gap and prepare children for later success in school and in life.

SEC. 3.

 Section 8242 is added to the Education Code, to read:

8242.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to address the childcare crisis by appropriating sufficient funding in the annual Budget Act or another statute for purposes of this section to childcare and development programs and family childcare home education networks to serve an additional 20,000 infants and toddlers from birth to three years of age with high-quality, comprehensive, family-centered childcare that adheres to the federal Head Start program performance standards.
(b) The California Partnership for Infants and Toddlers is hereby created. A state grant to support the California Partnership for Infants and Toddlers shall be made available and distributed, upon appropriation by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act or another statute, to qualifying childcare and development programs and family childcare home education networks that serve infants and toddlers from birth to three years of age at a supplemental grant amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000) annually per child.
(c) (1) Childcare and development programs and family childcare home education networks that agree to meet the federal Head Start program performance standards pursuant to subdivision (d) and provide full-day, full-year childcare for infants and toddlers from birth to three years of age shall qualify for funding pursuant to this section.
(2) For purposes of awarding funding pursuant to this section, the department may waive an element of the federal Head Start program performance standards to allow a childcare and development program or family childcare home education network to better meet the unique needs of its community if it can demonstrate that it will still be able to effectively support appropriate development and progress in the early learning outcomes of children. The department shall evaluate the continued need for this waiver on an annual basis.
(3) The following childcare and development program and family childcare home education network providers shall be eligible for the grants provided pursuant to this section:
(A) An existing provider, upon contract renewal.
(B) An applicant for any new childcare and development program or family childcare home education network slots serving infants and toddlers from birth to three years of age that are made available through an appropriation in the annual Budget Act or another statute.
(d) (1) As a condition of receiving funding pursuant to this section, a grantee shall develop and implement a plan to improve quality and provide comprehensive education, health, development, and family support services to achieve the federal Head Start program performance standards.
(2) (A) A childcare and development program or family childcare home education network receiving funding pursuant to this section shall annually demonstrate incremental progress toward implementing its plan to meet the federal Head Start program performance standards, and shall meet those standards in full within four years of the initial grant.
(B) A grantee that is granted a waiver for an element of the federal Head Start program performance standards pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) is not required to demonstrate annual progress toward or compliance with the federal Head Start program performance standards for that element.
(e) The department shall provide technical assistance to a childcare and development program or family childcare home education network applying for or receiving funding pursuant to this section to help develop and implement a plan to improve quality and provide comprehensive education, health, development, and family support services to achieve the federal Head Start program performance standards.
(f) The department shall, in awarding funding pursuant to this section, give priority to childcare and development programs and family childcare home education networks that serve a high proportion of children who are homeless, living in poverty, or have been, or are at risk of being, neglected or abused.
(g) Notwithstanding any other law, a family childcare home education network that receives funding pursuant to this section may reimburse providers at a rate above the regional market rate to meet the federal Head Start program performance standards.
(h) The department shall adopt regulations to implement this section as soon as reasonably possible. Notwithstanding the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the department may implement and administer this section through the issuance of guidance or other written directives until regulations are adopted.