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AB-568 Early learning and care: complaints about discrimination and exclusion of children: Early Learning and Care Dashboard.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/11/2021 09:00 PM
AB568:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 568


Introduced by Assembly Member Robert Rivas
(Coauthor: Assembly Member McCarty)
(Coauthor: Senator Cortese)

February 11, 2021


An act to amend Section 8212 of the Education Code, to amend Sections 1596.853 and 1596.874 of the Health and Safety Code, and to add Section 10207 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to early learning and care.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 568, as introduced, Robert Rivas. Early learning and care: complaints about discrimination and exclusion of children: Early Learning and Care Dashboard.
(1) Existing law establishes childcare resource and referral programs, which are established to serve a defined geographic area and provide prescribed services. Among the services provided by these programs is the establishment of a referral process that responds to parental need for information, that is provided with full recognition of the confidentiality rights of parents, and that makes referrals to licensed child day care facilities, as specified. In providing these services, childcare resource and referral programs are required to maintain ongoing documentation of requests for service, including, among other types of data, the number or calls and contacts to the childcare information and referral program or component, the ages of children served, and the reason that the childcare is needed.
This bill would express 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.
The bill would add to the documentation required to be maintained by childcare resource and referral programs 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 the facility type requested by race and ethnicity of the child.
(2) The California Child Day Care Facilities Act authorizes any person to request an inspection of any child day care facility by transmitting to the State Department of Social Services notice of an alleged violation of applicable requirements prescribed by statutes or regulations of this state. Complaints under the act may be made either orally or in writing.
This bill, commencing January 1, 2022, would authorize any person to submit a complaint related to discriminatory or exclusionary practices, including suspension or expulsion of a child, persuading a family to withdraw a child, or cutting hours of care unrelated to a change in family need, to the State Department of Social Services orally or in writing. With respect to such a complaint, the bill would require that the complainant be asked to indicate the age, race, and ethnicity of the child, the facility type of the provider, and whether the care was provided by a subsidized program. The bill would prohibit complaints regarding discriminatory or exclusionary practices from triggering an inspection or investigation, but would require the department to report data on the total number of such complaints to the Legislature annually starting in January 2023.
The bill would also require the department to include in the notice it provides, under existing law, to each licensed child day care facility for posting, information indicating that complaints may be made regarding health and safety, discrimination, and exclusion.
(3) Existing law establishes the Cradle-to-Career Data System Workgroup to assess and recommend data system structural components, processes, and options for expansion and enhancement of data system functionality with respect to data collected as young persons make their way through early learning and on to elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education.
This bill would require the State Department of Social Services, in coordination with the State Department of Education, to develop and maintain the Early Learning and Care Dashboard, a web-based system for publicly reporting data regarding the California state preschool program and specified early learning and care programs, no later than January 1, 2024. The bill would require the dashboard to report information that would include, among other things, enrollment by race, ethnicity, and age in each type of early learning and care program, the total number of complaints related to discrimination or exclusion, by race and age of the child and early learning or childcare facility type, and the total number of children enrolled in the California state preschool program that were suspended or expelled, by race and ethnicity.
The bill would require the Cradle-to-Career Data System Workgroup to make recommendations for additions or modifications to the dashboard no later than January 1, 2025. The bill would also require a stakeholder group to make recommendations to the Legislature and the State Department of Social Services regarding implicit bias and racism training for child development permitholders, as specified.
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:
(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 homes, public and private day care 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 facility with a revocation or a temporary suspension order, or that is on probation.

SEC. 3.

 Section 1596.853 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1596.853.
 (a) Any person may request an inspection of any child day care facility in accordance with the California Child Day Care Facilities Act by transmitting to the department notice of an alleged violation of applicable requirements prescribed by the statutes or regulations of this state. A complaint may be made either orally or in writing.
(b) The substance of the complaint shall be provided to the licensee no earlier than at the time of the inspection. Unless the complainant specifically requests otherwise, neither the substance of the complaint provided the licensee nor any copy of the complaint or any record published, released, or otherwise made available to the licensee shall disclose the name of any person mentioned in the complaint, except the name of any duly authorized officer, employee, or agent of the department conducting the investigation or inspection pursuant to this chapter.
(c) (1) Upon receipt of a complaint, the department shall make a preliminary review and, unless the department determines that the complaint is willfully intended to harass a licensee or is without any reasonable basis, the department shall make an onsite inspection within 10 days after receiving the complaint, except where the visit would adversely affect the licensing investigation or the investigation of other agencies, including, but not limited to, law enforcement agencies. In either event, the complainant shall be promptly informed of the department’s proposed course of action.

If

(2) If the department determines that the complaint is without a reasonable basis, then the complaint shall be marked confidential and shall not be disclosed to the public. The child-care childcare provider shall be notified in writing within 30 days of the dismissal that the complaint has been dismissed.
(d) (1) The department shall notify a resource and referral program funded under Section 8210 of the Education Code, as follows:
(A) Upon the issuance or denial of a license for a child day care facility within the resource and referral program’s jurisdiction.
(B) Within one business day of a finding that physical or sexual abuse has occurred at a child day care facility within the resource and referral program’s jurisdiction.
(C) Within two business days of the issuance of a temporary suspension order, or the revocation or placement on probation of a license for a child day care facility within the resource and referral program’s jurisdiction.
(D) The department shall also notify the resource and referral program of the final resolution of any action specified in this paragraph.
(2) With the exception of parents seeking local day care service, any other entity specified in subdivision (b) of Section 1596.86 may request that the department provide the notification described in paragraph (1).
(e) When the department substantiates an allegation that it deems to be serious in a facility funded by the Child Development Division of the State Department of Education pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8200) of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 the Education Code it shall notify the Child Development Division.
(f) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, commencing January 1, 2022, any person may submit a complaint related to discriminatory or exclusionary practices, including suspension or expulsion of a child, persuading a family to withdraw a child, or cutting hours of care unrelated to a change in family need, to the department orally or in writing. Complainants shall be asked to indicate the age, race, and ethnicity of the child, the facility type of the provider, and whether the care was provided by a subsidized program including the California State Preschool Program, as described in Section 8235 of the Education Code, or the early learning and care programs described in Section 10203 of the Education Code. Complaints regarding discriminatory or exclusionary practices shall not trigger an inspection or investigation.
(2) The department shall report the total number of complaints regarding discriminatory or exclusionary practices as described in this subdivision to the Legislature on or before January 31, 2023, and on or before January 31 of each year thereafter. A report submitted pursuant to this paragraph shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

SEC. 4.

 Section 1596.874 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1596.874.
 (a)  The State Department of Social Services shall furnish each licensed child day care facility with a notice that shall be posted at the facility where it can be easily seen by employees and consumers. The required notice shall contain information which that does all of the following:
(1)  Identifies the licensing agency and how licensing regulations may be obtained.
(2)  Gives local telephone numbers where complaints may be made.
(3) Indicates that complaints may be made regarding health and safety, discrimination, and exclusion.

(3)

(4) Contains the nonretaliation provision in Section 1596.881.
(b)  The licensee of the child day care facility shall make his or her the licensee’s copy of current licensing regulations available to employees and consumers.

SEC. 5.

 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 coordination 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 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 day care 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.
(b) No later than January 1, 2025, the Cradle-to-Career Data System Workgroup shall 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.
(c) No later than January 1, 2024, a stakeholder group convened by the department shall make recommendations to the Legislature and the department regarding the type and extent of training on implicit bias and racism that should be provided to holders of the child development permit. The stakeholder group shall provide a cost estimate for this training, and identify existing local institutions, including resource and referral programs, local childcare planning councils, and county offices of education, that could be used to provide training. The group shall provide recommendations on how to prioritize funding for training based on the Early Learning and Care Dashboard data. Funding for this training shall be contingent upon the enactment of an appropriation for its purposes in the Budget Act or another statute.