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

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Date Published: 04/02/2019 09:00 PM
AB324:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 02, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 20, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 324


Introduced by Assembly Member Aguiar-Curry

January 30, 2019


An act to amend Section 8279.7 of the Education Code, relating to childcare.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 324, as amended, Aguiar-Curry. Childcare services: state subsidized childcare: professional support stipends.
Existing law requires the State Department of Education to contract with local contracting agencies for alternative payment programs that are intended to allow for maximum parental choice in childcare. Existing law requires that moneys in a specified item of the Budget Act of 2000 be allocated to local child care and development planning councils based on the percentage of state-subsidized, center-based childcare funds received in the county in which the council is located, and requires that these funds be used to address the retention of qualified childcare employees in state-subsidized childcare centers. Existing law authorizes these funds, and other specified funds, appropriated for these purposes, to be used in the County of Los Angeles if specified requirements are met, including that the funds be unexpended after addressing the retention of qualified childcare employees, as provided, and that they be appropriated in the annual Budget Act, to address the retention of qualified persons working in licensed childcare programs that serve a majority of children who receive subsidized childcare services, including, but not limited to, family daycare homes, as defined.
This bill would delete the requirements that these funds be used in the County of Los Angeles and that the funds be unexpended after addressing the retention of qualified childcare employees, as provided. The bill would require the funds to be allocated to alternative payment program agencies to provide professional support stipends to qualified persons working in specified licensed childcare programs. The bill would, in addition, require the department to provide professional support stipends to qualified childcare employees in state-subsidized childcare centers and family childcare home education networks, upon an appropriation by the Legislature for this purpose.
Existing law requires the Department of Education to develop guidelines for use by local childcare and development planning councils in developing county plans for the expenditure of funds described above. Existing law requires these guidelines to be consistent with the department’s assessment of the current needs of the subsidized childcare workforce and subject to the approval of the Department of Finance.
This bill would delete the requirement that the guidelines be consistent with the department’s assessment and would delete the requirement that the Department of Finance approve the guidelines. The bill would instead require the guidelines to be consistent with the above provisions. The bill would require the department to develop the guidelines on or before January 1, 2021, for use by alternative payment program agencies in developing unified county plans for the expenditure of the funds, as provided.
Existing law requires the county plans developed pursuant to the guidelines to be approved by the department before allocation of funds to the local childcare and development planning council.
This bill would instead require county plans developed pursuant to the guidelines to be approved by the department before allocation of funds to the local childcare and development planning council or to the alternative payment program agency. The bill would require the department to ensure that the plans meet specified requirements.
Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to provide an annual report to the Legislature, among other entities, that includes a summary of the distribution of funds by county and a description of the funds used.
This bill would require the Superintendent to also include in the report a summary of the distribution of funds by provider type and a description of the funds used to meet the department guidelines described above.
The bill would make other conforming and nonsubstantive changes.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a)

(1) Research shows that access to quality early care and education programs is crucial to children, families, and the future success of the state.

(b)

(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.

(c)

(3) In recognizing the benefits of quality early care and education to a child’s lifelong wellbeing 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:

(a)(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 provide professional development opportunities for 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.

(b)

8279.7.
 (a) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the funds appropriated for 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 childcare and development planning councils based on the percentage of state-subsidized, center-based childcare funds received in that county, and shall be used to address the retention of qualified childcare employees in state-subsidized childcare centers.
(2) Of the funds identified in paragraph (1), funds appropriated in the annual Budget Act for these purposes shall also be allocated to alternative payment program agencies to provide professional support stipends to qualified persons working in licensed childcare programs that serve a majority of children who receive subsidized childcare services pursuant to this chapter, including, but not limited to, family daycare homes as defined in Section 1596.78 of the Health and Safety Code.
(3) The department shall provide professional support stipends to qualified childcare employees in state-subsidized childcare centers and family childcare home education networks, upon an appropriation by the Legislature for this purpose.

(c)

(b) (1) On or before January 1, 2021, the department shall develop guidelines consistent with this section for use by local 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, 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) There shall be no more than one professional support stipend plan per county, which shall contain the signatures of all participating local planning councils and 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 and 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, outcomes and identify and replicate best practices from around the state.

(d)

(c) Funds provided to a county for purposes of this section shall be used in accordance with the plan approved pursuant to subdivision (c). (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.

(e)

(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 funds used to meet the department guidelines established pursuant to subdivision (c). (b).
(2) A report submitted to the Legislature pursuant to this subdivision shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.