Today's Law As Amended


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AB-568 Early learning and care.(2021-2022)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) National data indicates that children are expelled, suspended, and counseled out of early learning and childcare programs at much higher rates than in grades K–12, and that African American and Hispanic children, especially boys, are disproportionately impacted by this practice. California does not currently prohibit expulsion or suspension in early learning and childcare programs.
(2) Inequitable access to, and exclusion from, high-quality early learning and care programs significantly contributes to the vocabulary gap, the academic achievement gap, and the graduation gap.
(3) California currently does not collect suspension and expulsion information from early learning and care providers, unless the child attends a local educational agency and has an individualized education program or individualized family service plan pursuant to Part B of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.).
(4) California’s data systems annually collect information about the age, race, and ethnicity of children enrolled in early learning and care programs, provider health and safety complaints and violations, the number and location of licensed early learning and care providers in each county, the number of childcare permits, and the number of children with an individualized education program or individualized family services plan that have been suspended or expelled, but does not currently have a platform to share this information publicly. Better access to this data would allow policymakers and providers to make informed decisions about where to invest additional resources, and would help identify gaps and inequities in the availability of, and access to, early learning and care.
(5) Resource and referral programs are required to collect information about parent requests for early learning and care services, including the age of the child needing services and the hours of care requested, but currently do not collect information about the race or ethnicity of families seeking care. Additional data on the demographics of families seeking care would allow policymakers and departments to determine whether access to high-quality programs is equitable by race and ethnicity and establish targeted strategies to increase equity.
(b) Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that, through greater data transparency and accountability, addresses the suspension and expulsion of African American and Hispanic children in early learning and care settings at disproportionate rates and inequitable access to high-quality early learning and care.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8212 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8212.
 (a)  For purposes of this article, child care  childcare  resource and referral programs, established to serve a defined geographic area, shall provide the following services:
(1) (A) Identification of the full range of existing child care  childcare  services through information provided by all relevant public and private agencies in the areas of service, and the development of a resource file of those services services,  which shall be maintained and updated at least quarterly. These services shall include, but not be limited to, family day care  daycare  homes, public and private day care  daycare  programs, full-time and part-time programs, and infant, preschool, and extended care programs.
(B) The resource file shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:
(i) Type of program.
(ii) Hours of service.
(iii) Ages of children served.
(iv) Fees and eligibility for services.
(v) Significant program information.
(2) (A) (i) Establishment of a referral process which that  responds to parental need for information and which that  is provided with full recognition of the confidentiality rights of parents. Resource and referral programs shall make referrals to licensed child day care  daycare  facilities. Referrals shall be made to unlicensed care facilities only if there is no requirement that the facility be licensed. The referral process shall afford parents maximum access to all referral information. This access shall include, but is not limited to, telephone referrals to be made available for at least 30 hours per week as part of a full week of operation. Every effort shall be made to reach all parents within the defined geographic area, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(I) Toll-free telephone lines.
(II) Office space convenient to parents and providers.
(III) Referrals in languages which are spoken in the community.
(ii)  Each child care  childcare  resource and referral program shall publicize its services through all available media sources, agencies, and other appropriate methods.
(B) (i) Provision of information to any person who requests a child care  childcare  referral of his or her  their  right to view the licensing information of a licensed child day care  daycare  facility required to be maintained at the facility pursuant to Section 1596.859 of the Health and Safety Code and to access any public files pertaining to the facility that are maintained by the State Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division.
(ii) A written or oral advisement in substantially the following form will comply with the requirements of clause (i):
“State law requires licensed child day care  daycare  facilities to make accessible to the public a copy of any licensing report pertaining to the facility that documents a facility visit or a substantiated complaint investigation. In addition, a more complete file regarding a child care  childcare  licensee may be available at an office of the State Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division. You have the right to access any public information in these files.”
(3) (A)  Maintenance of ongoing documentation of requests for service tabulated through the internal referral process. The following documentation of requests for service shall be maintained by all child care  childcare  resource and referral programs:
(i) Number of calls and contacts to the child care  childcare  information and referral program or component.
(ii) Ages of children served.
(iii) Time category of child care  childcare  request for each child.
(iv) Special time category, such as nights, weekends, and swing shift.
(v) Reason that the child care  childcare  is needed.
(vi) The number of requests for care by age of the child, race and ethnicity of the child, hours of care needed by race and ethnicity of the child, and facility type requested by race and ethnicity of the child.
(B) This information shall be maintained in a manner that is easily accessible for dissemination purposes purposes,  and shall be accessible to local child care  childcare  and development planning councils authorized pursuant to Section 8499.5 and any county implementing an individualized county child care  childcare  subsidy plan.
(4) Provision of technical assistance to existing and potential providers of all types of child care  childcare  services. This assistance shall include, but not be limited to:
(A) Information on all aspects of initiating new child care  childcare  services including, but not limited to, licensing, zoning, program and budget development, and assistance in finding this information from other sources.
(B) Information and resources that help existing child care  childcare  services providers to maximize their ability to serve the children and parents of their community.
(C) Dissemination of information on current public issues affecting the local and state delivery of child care  childcare  services.
(D) Facilitation of communication between existing child care  childcare  and child-related services providers in the community served.
(5) (A) (i) Provision of a child care  childcare  navigator to support children in foster care, children previously in foster care upon return to their home of origin, and children of parents involved in the child welfare system, including the children of nonminor dependents. The navigator shall work with the child’s family, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 11461.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and the child’s social worker and child and family team to assess child care  childcare  opportunities appropriate to the child’s age and needs, assist the family in identifying potential opportunities for an ongoing child care  childcare  subsidy, assist the caregiver in completing appropriate child care  childcare  program applications, and develop an overall, long-term child care  childcare  plan for the child.
(ii) As a condition of receiving funds pursuant to this subparagraph, each resource and referral program shall develop and enter into a memorandum of understanding, contract, or other formal agreement with the county child welfare agency in order to facilitate interagency communication and, to the maximum extent possible, to leverage federal funding, including administrative funding, available pursuant to Title IV–E IV-E  of the federal Social Security Act, to enhance the navigation support authorized under this subparagraph, or the resource and referral program shall explain, in writing, annually, why entering into a memorandum of understanding, contract, or other formal agreement with the county child welfare agency is not practical or feasible. Navigator services provided pursuant to this subparagraph shall be made available to any child in foster care, any child previously in foster care who has returned to his or her  their  home of origin, and any child of parents involved in the child welfare system, including any child who meets the eligibility criteria for the Emergency Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children established pursuant to Section 11461.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Eligibility for navigator services shall not be contingent on a child’s receipt of a child care  childcare  payment or voucher.
(B) (i) Provision of trauma-informed training and coaching to child care  childcare  providers working with children, and children of parenting youth, in the foster care system. Training shall include, but not be limited to, infant and toddler development and research-based, trauma-informed best care practices. Child care  Childcare  providers shall be provided with coaching to assist them in applying training techniques and strategies for working with children, and children of parenting youth, in foster care.
(ii) As a condition of receiving funds pursuant to this subparagraph, each resource and referral program, in coordination with the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network, shall develop and enter into a memorandum of understanding, contract, or other formal agreement with the county child welfare agency in order to, to the maximum extent possible, leverage federal funding, including training funds, available pursuant to Title IV–E IV-E  of the federal Social Security Act, to enhance the training support authorized under this subparagraph, or the resource and referral agency shall explain, in writing, annually, why entering into a memorandum of understanding, contract, or other formal agreement with the county child welfare agency is not practical or feasible.
(b)  Services prescribed by this section shall be provided in order to maximize parental choice in the selection of child care  childcare  to facilitate the maintenance and development of child care  childcare  services and resources.
(c) (1) A program operating pursuant to this article shall, within two business days of receiving notice, remove a licensed child day care facility with a revocation or a temporary suspension order, or that is on probation from the program’s referral list.
(2) A program operating pursuant to this article shall, within two business days of receiving notice, notify all entities, operating a program under Article 3 (commencing with Section 8220) and Article 15.5 (commencing with Section 8350) in the program’s jurisdiction, of a licensed child day care  daycare  facility with a revocation or a temporary suspension order, or that is on probation.

SEC. 3.

 Section 10207 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, immediately following Section 10206, to read:

10207.
 (a) No later than January 1, 2024, in conjunction with the State Department of Education, and in consultation with the Cradle-to-Career Data System Workgroup established pursuant to Section 10853 of the Education Code, the department shall develop and maintain the Early Learning and Care Dashboard, a web-based system for publicly reporting data regarding the California state preschool program, as described in Section 8235 of the Education Code, and the early learning and care programs described in Section 10203. The dashboard shall, subject to all applicable federal and state privacy protections, report all of the following information at a statewide and countywide level:
(1) Enrollment by race, ethnicity, and age in each type of early learning or childcare program.
(2) The number of requests for early learning and childcare by age, and race and ethnicity.
(3) The time category of care requested, by race and ethnicity of the child.
(4) The type of early learning or childcare facility preferred, if stated, by race and ethnicity.
(5) The total number of health and safety complaints, by early learning or childcare facility type.
(6) The total number of complaints related to discrimination or exclusion, by race and age of the child, and by early learning or childcare facility type.
(7) The number of active child daycare licenses, as described in Article 2 (commencing with Section 1596.80) of Chapter 3.4 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, by facility type, capacity, ages served, and ZIP Code.
(8) The number of active child development permits, at each level, as reported by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
(9) The total number of children with an individualized education program or individualized family service plan pursuant to Part B of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.), by race and ethnicity.
(10) The total number of children with an individualized education program or individualized family service plan pursuant to Part B of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.), who were enrolled in the California state preschool program and were suspended or expelled, by race and ethnicity.
(11) The total number of children enrolled in the California state preschool program or one of the early learning and care programs described in Section 10203, that were suspended or expelled, by race and ethnicity. The requirement to include this data on the dashboard is contingent upon the enactment and implementation of another act that requires the collection of information on suspension and expulsion.
(b) This section does not prohibit the State Department of Education from maintaining and reporting data on early learning and care programs within their jurisdiction, including the California state preschool program.
(c) No later than January 1, 2025, the Cradle-to-Career Data System Workgroup may make recommendations for additions or modifications to the Early Learning and Care Dashboard to ensure that it aligns with the Cradle-to-Career Data System.

SEC. 4.

 Section 10208 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, immediately following Section 10207, to read:

10208.
 (a) The department, in conjunction with the State Department of Education, shall establish the antibias education grant program to enable selected regional leads to offer training, coaching, and professional development to early learning and care staff, including those who provide care at licensed and unlicensed facilities.
(b) The department, in conjunction with the State Department of Education, shall identify between 6 and 12 diverse regions within the state and develop and administer a competitive grant process to select an antibias education regional lead for each region. An entity shall only be eligible to apply to become an antibias education regional lead if the entity is in good financial standing and either has a current contract with the State Department of Education to operate a resource and referral agency or an alternative payment program or is a local educational agency. To apply to become an antibias education regional lead, an entity shall submit an application to the department, which shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:
(1) A description of how the entity will implement a meaningful and consistent antibias education framework that includes training, coaching, and professional development offerings designed to further participants’ understanding, identification, and prevention of the harmful emotional and psychological impacts on children from societal prejudice and bias.
(2) Identification of the antibias education module or framework that the entity will use in the creation of training, coaching, and professional development offerings.
(3) A description of how the entity will allocate resources to ensure that participants receive meaningful antibias education that is sustained, consistent, and progressively builds upon participants’ understanding.
(4) A description of the actions the entity will take to ensure that trainings, coaching, and professional development offerings are advertised and accessible to early learning and care providers who work at licensed and unlicensed facilities, including family, friend, and neighbor providers.
(5) A description of the actions the entity will take to ensure the trainings, coaching, and professional development offerings are differentiated to meet the varying needs of early learning and care programs serving infants and toddlers, as well as those serving preschool-aged children.
(c) The department shall select an antibias education regional lead for each region identified pursuant to subdivision (b). In selecting regional leads, the department shall give preference to applicants that demonstrate any of the following:
(1) That the applicant has a history of providing antibias, implicit bias, or antiracism training to early learning and care providers, parents, teachers, or its own staff.
(2) That the applicant has a history of providing training that is culturally competent and accessible to diverse communities, including those that speak a language other than English.
(3) That the applicant has provided assistance or training to, or has established relationships with networks or bargaining units that represent, early learning and care providers that work at childcare centers, family childcare homes, family childcare home networks, or are family, friend, or neighbor providers.
(4) That the applicant has the staff capacity, or has clearly identified a plan to hire or contract to establish the capacity, to provide antibias education to early learning and care providers located in multiple counties.
(5) That the applicant has adopted a targeted universalism or whole child approach to meeting the needs of children or has a history of providing staff and family training on trauma-informed care, offering health, mental health, and nutritional supports, and including parents, guardians, and families in creating a welcoming, safe, and liberating learning environment that embraces all children’s cultural, racial, and linguistic strengths.
(6) The applicant is applying in coordination with one or more other organizations, including local First 5 Commissions, early childhood local planning councils, county offices of education, resource and referral agencies, and alternative payment programs.
(7) The applicant is an equity-focused organization and has staff with expertise or lived experience as a member of a community that has been historically underserved or impacted by the effects of sexism, racism, or systemic poverty.
(d) An antibias education regional lead selected by the department shall offer antibias education to early learning and care providers located in all counties in the region for which it is the regional lead. The regional lead shall ensure that providers from all counties in the region for which it is the regional lead can access training and professional development by offering training and professional development in various locations throughout the region and by providing accessible virtual options.
(e) The department, in conjunction with the State Department of Education, shall convene the antibias education regional leads at regular intervals during the grant program to coordinate activities and share resources, modules, and best practices.
(f) (1) Funding shall be allocated to each antibias education regional lead based on the number of children in the region for which it is the regional lead, as determined by the department. However, a regional lead shall not receive less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).
(2) Implementation of this section is contingent upon an appropriation for these purposes in the annual Budget Act.