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AB-452 Childcare: early childhood programs: grants.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/11/2019 09:00 PM
AB452:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 452


Introduced by Assembly Member Mullin

February 11, 2019


An act relating to childcare.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 452, as introduced, Mullin. Childcare: early childhood programs: grants.
The Child Care and Development Services Act establishes the California Child Care Initiative Project and provides that the objective of the project is to increase the availability of quality childcare programs in the state.
This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that appropriates between $25,000,000 and $35,000,000 to create a grant program to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age, inclusive.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   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:
(1) Infant and toddler childcare in California is prohibitively expensive for many families. According to a Child Care Aware report, in 2016, California was one of the 10 least affordable states for infant care, costing on average 51 percent of the median income of a single parent household. Families have difficulty covering the basic costs of housing, food, childcare, healthcare, and other necessities. In all 58 counties, the annual salary of a full-time minimum wage worker is not sufficient to cover the basic budget for a single-parent household.
(2) Families in California have limited access to programs, especially those serving children from birth to three years of age, inclusive. Access to publicly funded early child education programs for infants and toddlers is extremely limited. Approximately 14 percent of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs, a large portion of whom are in family daycare homes or receive license-exempt care, such as care provided by family, a friend, or a neighbor. Subsidized early childhood education for children from birth to three years of age, inclusive, is mostly limited to working families. In 2017, only 7 percent of eligible children younger than three years of age had access to Early Head Start programs.
(3) Very young children are experiencing rising obesity rates and health risks. While nearly one-third of Americans between 17 and 24 years of age, inclusive, are too overweight to qualify for military service, the problem starts much earlier. Children as young as two years of age are experiencing rising obesity rates; among this age group, the obesity rate is 14 percent.
(4) Programs serving infants and toddlers benefit California families and the state’s economy.
(5) Early childhood programs can return about $2 to $4 in benefits to participants, the government, and other members of society for every dollar invested. Childcare subsidies provide job stability and have been shown to increase parents’ earnings.
(6) Children who participate in a Head Start program are less likely to be overweight than low-income children who do not participate in the program.
(7) After participating in an Early Head Start program, three-year-old children have better learning, social, and emotional skills, compared to those who do not participate in the program.
(8) The cost of providing childcare for an infant is, on average, 61 percent higher than the cost of serving a preschooler. However, the infant subsidy rate for subsidies provided through the Child Care and Development Block Grant is, on average, only 27 percent higher than the preschool subsidy rate.
(9) Head Start and Early Head Start programs supported more than 100,000 families and children in 2017 and brought over $1 billion in federal funds to local agencies operating these programs. Twelve states currently provide funds to support Head Start and Early Head Start programs. California does not.
(10) Providing facilities funding for infant and toddler care programs will leverage federal and state funds and promote expansion and greater access to high-quality programs for California families. Facility grants will create the conditions in which providers can serve more children, hire more staff, and support more families on their path to success.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that does all of the following:
(1) Appropriates funds of between $25 million and $35 million to award grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age, inclusive, no less than $10 million of which will be provided to Early Head Start program facilities to serve children from birth to three years of age, inclusive.
(2) Specifies that eligible applicants for grants include the following:
(A) Existing childcare and development contractors.
(B) Existing recipients of Head Start and Early Head Start funds that will serve infants and toddlers using the grant funds.
(C) Childcare providers participating in other state subsidy programs.
(3) Authorize the use of grant funds to do, at a minimum, the following:
(A) Renovate facilities and repair existing and new spaces to meet licensing, health, and safety standards to serve infants and toddlers.
(B) Purchase portable classrooms that meet, or will be renovated to meet, licensing, health, and safety standards.
(4) Provide that grants are multiyear.
(5) Require that the application process for a grant be simple.