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AB-2581 Department of Early Childhood Development.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/20/2020 09:00 PM
AB2581:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2581


Introduced by Assembly Member Reyes
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Mullin)

February 20, 2020


An act to add Article 15 (commencing with Section 12839) to Chapter 1 of Part 2.5 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, relating to childhood development.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2581, as introduced, Reyes. Department of Early Childhood Development.
Existing law provides for various entities, programs, and services relating to early childhood care and learning, including the provision of childcare for recipients of the CalWORKs program and the Early Childhood Policy Council, among others under the State Department of Education and the Emergency Child Care Bridge for Foster Children under the State Department of Social Services. Existing law establishes the California Health and Human Services Agency, which includes the State Department of Social Services, among other state departments, and is charged with the administration of health, social, and other human services.
This bill would establish the Department of Early Child Development within the California Health and Human Services Agency, and would require the new department to consolidate leadership on programs and issues relating to the administration of early learning and care and to centralize and build a coherent and whole person early learning and care system to improve service delivery for children, families, and providers by maximizing federal, state, and local resources. The bill would transfer the duties, powers, functions, jurisdiction, and responsibilities of specified programs and entities relating to early childhood care and learning from various departments, including the State Department of Education and the State Department of Social Services, to the Department of Early Child Development.
The bill would require the Department of Early Child Development to establish an interagency workgroup that includes the Director of Early Childhood Development, the Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, and representatives from the State Department of Public Health, the State Department of Health Care Services, the State Department of Developmental Services, and the State Department of Social Services to, among other things, establish a memorandum of understanding between the departments that outlines the joint authority for the promulgation of regulations for the coordination of services relating to early childhood care and learning. The bill would state related findings, declarations, and intents of the Legislature.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Article 15 (commencing with Section 12839) is added to Chapter 1 of Part 2.5 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
Article  15. Department of Early Childhood Development

12839.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The lack of a coordinated state early childhood system makes it difficult for children, families, early childhood-serving state agencies, and the early childhood workforce to navigate and access programs and services.
(b) Currently, the state’s mixed delivery system providing early learning and care services is fragmented within different systems of implementation across multiple departments with varying goals, administrative and cultural frameworks, oversight, standards, and reporting requirements.
(c) The 2019 final report of the Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education and the Preschool Development Grant Strategic Plan detail the complexities and problems in how the state administers and funds early learning and care through this mixed delivery system model.
(d) The 2019 final report of the Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education indicates the need to, and directs the legislature to, establish a streamlined and centralized governance system for all early learning and care programs to better and more adequately serve children, families, and providers within the system.
(e) The California Health and Human Services Agency currently oversees more than a dozen departments that are responsible for the support, care, and education of young children and families, including a variety of programs. These programs and services, when coordinated, support children and families holistically.
(f) The California Health and Human Services Agency additionally serves as the lead agency for the development of the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care and the establishment and administration of the Early Childhood Policy Council after the 2019 Budget Act.
(g) Many children and families are serviced by multiple state agencies, with coordination of care being incredibly difficult, particularly for our most vulnerable populations. This creates gaps in imperative services for children and families, and often negatively impacts providers and their ability to provide high-quality care and services.
(h) It is the intent of the Legislature to establish the Department of Early Childhood Development within the California Health and Human Services Agency in order to improve service delivery for young children, families, and providers, while reducing administrative duplication, creating greater efficiencies, and expanding access to children and families.
(i) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure streamline monitoring processes and data system operations among the Department of Early Childhood Development, the State Department of Education, and all other relevant departments within the California Health and Human Services Agency by doing all of the following:
(1) Improving existing early childhood development management data systems and developing new data systems, as necessary, to support data needs in the Department of Early Childhood Development with strong connections and alignment with the California Department of Education.
(2) Collecting data on all early childhood development programs, including, but not limited to, the California State Preschool Program and transitional kindergarten.
(3) Expediting the inclusion of child care and development programs in the California Health and Human Services Agency’s larger data integration efforts, developing aligned outcomes and measures across programs, and leveraging data to improve program quality and child outcomes.
(j) It is the intent of the Legislature to strengthen early childhood systems integration in order to improve access to quality early learning and care programs and services for California’s young children and families through the Department of Early Childhood Development by doing all of the following:
(1) Operating under a framework that aims to serve the whole child and whole family to promote equity within the system and for California’s children and families.
(2) Ensuring connections and alignment between the Department of Early Childhood Development programs and services and the State Department of Education programs and services, including the California State Preschool Program and transitional kindergarten.
(3) Simplifying the administration of the state’s child care and development programs.
(4) Facilitating improved interagency collaboration with health and social services programs to more fully support the whole child and whole families’ needs, while supporting improved eligibility processes across the agencies.
(5) Strengthening a comprehensive strategy on prevention and early intervention services.
(6) Prioritizing access to affordable, high-quality child development programs, thereby improving parental choice and promoting equity for the children who are eligible for those programs.
(k) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that, during the transition and consolidation of programs to the Department of Early Childhood Development, there is no disruption of services or contracts to children, families, and providers by allowing for a memoranda of understanding or other forms of interagency agreements among the California Health and Human Services Agency, the State Department of Education, the State Department of Social Services, and any other state agency, department, or office necessary for the initiation or continuation of services to support continuous operations, provide child care services, effectuate California law, and enhance the system of early learning and care administration to increase program coronation and improve service delivery.

12840.
 (a) There is hereby established, within the California Health and Human Services Agency, the Department of Early Child Development. The department shall consolidate leadership on programs and issues relating to the administration of early learning and care.
(b) The department shall be under the control of an executive officer known as the Director of Early Child Development.
(c) (1) The department shall centralize and build a coherent and whole person early learning and care system to improve service delivery for children, families, and providers by maximizing federal, state, and local resources.
(2) To ensure whole person care, the department shall ensure coordination of services, as outlined by the Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission Report on Early Childhood Education Final Report, that does all of the following:
(A) Results in increased access to early learning and care services with prioritization for low-income children and families.
(B) Prioritizes the coordination of services that best result in increased access to health assessments and follow-up diagnostic treatment services for low-income children and families.
(C) Is family centered and has community- and evidence-based systems of coordinated care for children.
(d) The duties, powers, functions, jurisdiction, and responsibilities transferred to the department shall include all of the following programs and entities:
(1) The Master Plan on Early Learning and Care (Section 8207 of the Education Code).
(2) The Early Childhood Policy Council (Section 8286 of the Education Code).
(3) Childcare for recipients of the CalWORKs program (Article 15.5 (commencing with Section 8350) of Chapter 2 of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code).
(4) Emergency Child Care Bridge for Foster Children (Section 11461.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code).
(5) Alternative payment programs (Article 3 (commencing with Section 8220) of Chapter 2 of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code).
(6) Migrant alternative payment programs (Article 3 (commencing with Section 8220) of Chapter 2 of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code).
(7) General childcare and development (Article 8 (commencing with Section 8240) of Chapter 2 of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code).
(8) Migrant childcare and development programs (Article 6 (commencing with Section 8230) of Chapter 2 of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code).
(9) California State Program for Severely Handicapped Program (Article 9 (commencing with Section 8250) of Chapter 2 of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code).
(10) California Head Start State Collaboration Office.
(11) Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
(12) Child care and development fund quality improvement projects.
(13) Integrated Early Childhood Data System.

12841.
 (a) The department shall establish an interagency workgroup that shall include the Director of Early Childhood Development, the Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, and representatives from the State Department of Public Health, the State Department of Health Care Services, the State Department of Developmental Services, and the State Department of Social Services.
(b) The interagency workgroup shall do all of the following:
(1) Establish a memorandum of understanding between the departments that are represented in the workgroup, as specified in subdivision (a), that outlines the joint authority for the promulgation of regulations for the coordination of services.
(2) Identify administrative needs for implementation by each respective entity represented in the workgroup to improve the overall coordination of services provided to children and families in early learning and care programs.
(3) Coordinate with the Early Childhood Policy Council established pursuant to Section 8286 and with the executive director of the Early Childhood Policy Council.
(4) Annually submit a report on its work to the Governor, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and relevant budget and policy committees of the Legislature.
(5) Build on the work of the 2019 final report of the Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education Final Report, the strategic plan for the Preschool Development Grant, and the state’s master plan for early learning and care developed pursuant to Section 8207.