Today's Law As Amended

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AB-324 Childcare services: state subsidized childcare: professional support stipends.(2019-2020)



SECTION 1.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Research shows that access to quality early care and education programs is crucial to children, families, and the future success of the state.
(2) Early care and education programs provide young children with valuable early learning and child development experiences that get them ready for school and a successful future. With access to quality childcare and early learning, families can also go to work and provide for their needs, knowing that their children are safe, nurtured, and learning.
(3) In recognizing the benefits of quality early care and education to a child’s lifelong well-being and to the path of families to self-sufficiency, it is the intent of the Legislature to build a strong foundation for the early care and education system that optimally serves the unique needs of California’s families and young children.
(b) (1) The Legislature recognizes the importance of providing quality childcare services. It is, therefore, the intent of the Legislature to assist Quality Counts California’s quality rating and improvement system local consortia in providing professional development and higher education support for all qualified childcare providers who work directly with children who receive state-subsidized childcare services.
(2) It is further the intent of the Legislature to support diversity in the early care and education profession, across care settings and childcare provider types, and strengthen and improve the quality and craft of the childcare workforce, in order to support child development and working family needs.
(3) To meet the goals described in this subdivision, it is the intent of the Legislature to provide funding for all of the following purposes:
(A) For crucial local and online community college infrastructure needs to be updated to provide competency-based coursework and issue-specific counseling and navigator support at community colleges for childcare providers.
(B) For the California Child Care Initiative Project to support unlicensed childcare providers in obtaining a family childcare home license and to provide professional development opportunities to these providers.
(C) For Quality Counts California’s quality rating and improvement system local consortia to provide professional development and higher education support for all qualified childcare providers who work directly with children who receive state-subsidized childcare services.
(D) For family care provider apprenticeships to provide preservice and mentoring for family care providers.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8279.7 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8279.7.
 (a) The Legislature recognizes the importance of providing quality child care services. It is, therefore, the intent of the Legislature to assist counties in improving the retention of qualified child care employees who work directly with children who receive state-subsidized child care services.
(b) It is further the intent of the Legislature, in amending this section during the 2009–10 Regular Session, to address the unique challenges of the County of Los Angeles, in which an estimated 60,000 low-income children receive subsidized child care in nonstate-funded child care settings and an additional 50,000 eligible children are waiting for subsidized services.
(c) (a)  (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the funds appropriated for the  purposes of this section by paragraph (11) of Schedule (b) of Item 6110-196-0001 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2000 (Chapter 52 of the Statutes of 2000), and that are described in subdivision (i) of Provision 7 of that item, and any other funds appropriated for purposes of this section, shall be allocated to local child care  childcare  and development planning councils based on the percentage of state-subsidized, center-based child care  childcare  funds received in that county, and shall be used to address the retention  professional support  of qualified child care  childcare  employees in state-subsidized child care  childcare  centers.
(2) Of the funds identified in paragraph (1), funds qualified pursuant to subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive, may also be used to address the retention of  appropriated in the annual Budget Act for these purposes shall also be allocated to alternative payment program agencies, based on the percentage of state-subsidized childcare vouchers in that county, to provide professional support stipends to  qualified persons working in licensed child care  childcare  programs that serve a majority of children who receive subsidized child care  childcare  services pursuant to this chapter, including, but not limited to, family day care  daycare  homes as defined in Section 1596.78 of the Health and Safety Code. To qualify for use pursuant to this paragraph, the funds shall meet all of the following requirements: 
(A) (3)  The funds are allocated for use in the County of Los Angeles. department shall allow a county plan approved pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) to establish a local childcare and development planning council as the fiscal agent for professional support stipends provided pursuant to paragraph (2). 
(B) The funds are appropriated in the annual Budget Act.
(C) (4)  The funds are unexpended after addressing the retention of qualified child care  department shall provide professional support stipends to qualified childcare  employees in state-subsidized child care  childcare  centers and family child care home education networks. childcare home education networks, upon an appropriation by the Legislature for this purpose. 
(d) (b)  The (1)  On or before January 1, 2021, the  department shall develop guidelines consistent with this section  for use by local child care  childcare  and development planning councils and alternative payment program agencies  in developing unified  county plans for the expenditure of funds allocated pursuant to this section. These guidelines shall be consistent with the department’s assessment of the current needs of the subsidized child care workforce, and shall be subject to the approval of the Department of Finance. Any county plan developed pursuant to these guidelines shall be approved by the department prior to the allocation of funds to the local child care and development planning council. section, in coordination with the local Quality Counts California county consortium. 
(2) Any county plan developed pursuant to these guidelines shall be approved by the department before the allocation of funds to the local childcare and development planning council or alternative payment program agency, and the department shall ensure that the plans meet all of the following requirements:
(A) The local planning council shall develop and submit no more than one professional support stipend plan per county, which shall contain the signatures of all alternative payment program agencies and the Quality Counts California’s quality rating and improvement system local consortia members, as described in Section 8203.1.
(B) Stipends shall be available for childcare providers across child development program types and settings, and across childcare provider types, including, but not limited to, family daycare home providers, as well as center-based aides, teachers, and site directors.
(C) Stipends shall be integrated into and aligned with the comprehensive Quality Counts California professional development system in that county.
(D) Stipends shall support a childcare provider’s higher education attainment or professional development plan and shall support a childcare provider to move up the California Early Learning Career Lattice, as appropriate.
(E) Stipends shall support individual childcare provider growth, and shall be part of the childcare site’s quality improvement plan, as appropriate.
(F) Stipend use and childcare provider professional development and higher education attainment outcomes shall be registered and reported to the department.
(G) Local childcare and development planning councils and alternative payment program agencies funded pursuant to this section shall conduct a regular evaluation in order to examine participant outcomes and identify and replicate best practices from around the state.
(e) (c)  Funds provided to a county for the  purposes of this section shall be used in accordance with the plan approved pursuant to subdivision (d). (b).  A county with an approved plan may retain up to 1 percent of the county’s total allocation made pursuant to this section for reimbursement of administrative expenses associated with the planning process.
(f) (d)  (1)  The Superintendent shall provide an annual report, no later than April 10 of each year, to the Legislature, the Department of Finance, and the Governor that includes, but is not limited to, a summary of the distribution of the funds by county and by provider type and  a description of the use of the funds. funds used to meet the department guidelines established pursuant to subdivision (b). 
(2) A report submitted to the Legislature pursuant to this subdivision shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.