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AB-2960 Child care and development services: online portal.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/01/2018 10:00 AM
AB2960:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 30, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 16, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 05, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 03, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2960


Introduced by Assembly Member Thurmond

February 16, 2018


An act to add Article 1.1 (commencing with Section 8209.5) to Chapter 2 of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 of, and to repeal Section 8209.6 of, the Education Code, relating to child care and development services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2960, as amended, Thurmond. Child care and development services: online portal.
The Child Care and Development Services Act has a purpose of providing a comprehensive, coordinated, and cost-effective system of child care and development services for children from infancy to 13 years of age and their parents, including a full range of supervision, health, and support services through full- and part-time programs. Existing law designates the State Department of Education as the single state agency responsible for the promotion, development, and provision of care of children in the absence of their parents during the workday or while engaged in other activities that require assistance of a third party. Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to administer general child care and development programs.
This bill would require the Superintendent, on or before June 30, 2022, to develop and post on the department’s Internet Web site, for use by the general public, an online portal for the state’s comprehensive child care and development services, as provided. The bill would require the online portal to accomplish certain things, including assisting families in gaining access to information about child care and development services, as provided. The bill would require, on or before January 1, 2020, the Superintendent to submit a report to appropriate committees of the Legislature detailing the current landscape of programs that provide child care and development services, among other things. The bill would require the Superintendent, in planning for future enhancements to the online portal, to convene, on or before June 30, 2019, a workgroup made up of specified stakeholders. The bill would require the workgroup, on or before June 30, 2020, to evaluate and provide recommendations to the Superintendent on the possible models for, and plans for inclusion in the online portal of, specified enhancements. The bill would require the Superintendent, on or before January 1, 2021, to submit to the appropriate committees of the Legislature a report that proposes plans for enhancements to the online portal based on the above recommendations from the workgroup, as provided.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The disparity in educational outcomes between pupil populations with regard to test scores, graduation rates, and college readiness is one of the most serious challenges facing our public education system.
(b) Access to high quality, affordable child care and development services is essential to prepare California’s children to succeed in school and in life and to allow families to work and contribute to the state’s economy with the assurance that their children are safe, well cared for, and learning.
(c) Expanded learning opportunities are also essential for children’s safety and to ensure that academic gains made during the schoolday are retained. With 80 percent of waking hours for schoolage children spent outside of the classroom, quality and affordable expanded learning experiences after school and in the summer are essential strategies for equalizing pupil outcomes. Families also need care beyond the schoolday in order to work.

(d)California’s current child care and development services encompasses a patchwork of programs with distinct but overlapping purposes and designs, that are often funded by and accountable to multiple uncoordinated agencies at the county, state, and federal levels. These include home visits and special education programs; school readiness programs such as California State Preschool, Head Start and Early Head Start, and transitional kindergarten; programs designed to support working parents, such as general child care and development and voucher-based alternative payment programs, including CalWORKs; and after school programs such as the After School Education and Safety Program and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program.

(e)Eligible families in California struggle to make sense of the confusing system and face administrative and practical barriers to accessing services, including complex enrollment processes and inadequate information about options in their communities.

(f)Counties frequently send child care and development services funding back to the state, in part because programs struggle to connect with eligible families, despite having an unmet need for child care and development services.

(g)Variation in quality standards for subsidized programs means that children of similar age and need receive very different learning opportunities. Families need information about program quality to make an informed decision about where to enroll their children.

(h)Although California collects, or requires counties and programs to collect, information about the supply of licensed child care slots and enrollment in state programs, this information is often not easily accessible for parents.

SEC. 2.

 Article 1.1 (commencing with Section 8209.5) is added to Chapter 2 of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code, to read:
Article  1.1. Online Portal for Child Care and Development Services

8209.5.
 (a) On It is the intent of the Legislature in adopting this article that every family in California have access to current and robust information regarding the state’s vast array of child care and development services through a publicly available online portal hosted and maintained by the department that includes, among other things, program and eligibility information, the opportunity to connect with resource and referral agencies and providers, and the ability to apply through a single, uniform application, and to enroll on a statewide waiting list for subsidized child care programs.
(b) On or before June 30, 2022, the Superintendent shall develop and post on the department’s Internet Web site, for use by the general public, an online portal for California’s comprehensive child care and development services.

(b)

(c) The online portal shall accomplish all of the following:
(1) Assist families in gaining access to information about child care and development services, including location of services, availability of slots, and quality indicators for individual programs.
(2) Allow families to do all both of the following:
(A) Learn about eligibility for local, state, and federally supported subsidies and programs.

(B)Apply for subsidies through a single, uniform application.

(C)Enroll on a waiting list for programs where slots are not readily available.

(D)

(B) Connect with local child care resource and referral agencies for additional assistance in selecting and accessing care.
(3) Allow child care and development service providers to do all of the following:
(A) Connect with families in the community. community who have opted to share their information for purposes of finding providers.
(B) Share enrollment and licensing information more easily with state agencies.
(C) Find and access professional development opportunities.

(c)

(d) In developing the portal, the Superintendent shall do all of the following:
(1) (A) Consult with state and local stakeholders. stakeholders about objectives and components of the online portal, including, but not limited to, how the portal will serve particularly vulnerable populations, including children with special needs.
(B) For purposes of this paragraph, stakeholders shall include, but not be limited to, representatives of resource and referral programs, alternative payment programs, contracted center-based programs, Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) data systems, school-based providers, workforce registry, private center-based care providers, and family child care homes.
(2) Coordinate with existing information infrastructure at the state and local level.
(3) Take into consideration the full spectrum of programs that serve children and their families.

(d)

(e) In developing the online portal, the Superintendent may contract with an outside entity for purposes of developing the information infrastructure to support the portal.
(f) (1) In planning for future enhancements to the online portal, the Superintendent shall convene, on or before June 30, 2019, a workgroup made up of stakeholders, including, but not limited to, representatives of resource and referral programs, alternative payment programs, contracted center-based programs, Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) data systems, school-based providers, workforce registry, private center-based care providers, and family child care homes. This workgroup shall, on or before June 30, 2020, evaluate, and provide recommendations to the Superintendent on possible models for, and plans for inclusion in the online portal developed pursuant to this section of, both of the following:
(A) Establishing and maintaining a statewide waiting list for child care and development services programs where subsidized slots are not readily available.
(B) Developing a single, uniform application for use in applying for subsidies.
(2) (A) On or before January 1, 2021, the Superintendent shall submit a report to the appropriate committees of the Legislature proposing plans for enhancements to the online portal, based on recommendations received from the workgroup developed pursuant to paragraph (1) for the inclusion of a single, uniform application and statewide waiting list for subsidized child care programs in the online portal.
(B) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this paragraph shall become inoperative on January 1, 2025.

8209.6.
 (a) On or before January 1, 2020, the Superintendent shall submit a report to the appropriate committees of the Legislature detailing the current landscape of programs that provide child care and development services in California, existing information infrastructure related to these programs, and a comprehensive plan for developing a portal that links programs together for parents and providers. The report shall include changes that need to be implemented within individual programs and information systems to allow for seamless integration into the single state portal.
(b) The Superintendent may contract with an outside entity for purposes of completing the report.
(c) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this section is repealed on January 1, 2024.