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



Current Version: 04/29/21 - Amended Assembly Compare Versions information image


AB568:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 29, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 19, 2021

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, and to add Sections 10207 and 10208 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to early learning and care.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 568, as amended, Robert Rivas. Early learning and care.
(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 daycare 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) 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 conjunction 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 to, subject to all applicable federal and state privacy protections, 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 with an individualized education program or individualized family service plan who enrolled in the California state preschool program and were suspended or expelled, by race and ethnicity.
The bill would require authorize 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.
(3) Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of child daycare facilities by the State Department of Social Services and imposes various training requirements on employees of child daycare facilities.
This bill would require the department, in conjunction with the State Department of Education, to establish the antibias education grant program to enable selected regional leads to offer training, coaching, and professional development to early learning and childcare care staff. The bill would require an application to become a regional lead to include specified components and require the department to give preference to applicants with certain characteristic or qualifications, including, among others, applicants that demonstrate a history of providing antibias, implicit bias, or antiracism training to early learning and care providers, parents, teachers, or its own staff. The bill would require a regional lead selected by the department to offer antibias education to early learning and education care providers located in all counties in the region for which it is the regional lead. The bill would require funding to be allocated to each regional lead based on the number of children in its region, but would prohibit a regional lead from receiving less than $250,000. The bill would make the implementation of these provisions contingent on an appropriation for these purposes in the annual Budget Act.
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, 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 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, which shall be maintained and updated at least quarterly. These services shall include, but not be limited to, family daycare homes, public and private 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 that responds to parental need for information and that is provided with full recognition of the confidentiality rights of parents. Resource and referral programs shall make referrals to licensed child 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 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 childcare referral of their right to view the licensing information of a licensed child 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 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 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 childcare resource and referral programs:
(i) Number of calls and contacts to the childcare information and referral program or component.
(ii) Ages of children served.
(iii) Time category of childcare request for each child.
(iv) Special time category, such as nights, weekends, and swing shift.
(v) Reason that the 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, and shall be accessible to local childcare and development planning councils authorized pursuant to Section 8499.5 and any county implementing an individualized county childcare subsidy plan.
(4) Provision of technical assistance to existing and potential providers of all types of childcare services. This assistance shall include, but not be limited to:
(A) Information on all aspects of initiating new 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 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 childcare services.
(D) Facilitation of communication between existing childcare and child-related services providers in the community served.
(5) (A) (i) Provision of a 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 childcare opportunities appropriate to the child’s age and needs, assist the family in identifying potential opportunities for an ongoing childcare subsidy, assist the caregiver in completing appropriate childcare program applications, and develop an overall, long-term 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 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 childcare payment or voucher.
(B) (i) Provision of trauma-informed training and coaching to 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. 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 childcare to facilitate the maintenance and development of 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 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 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.

(b)

(c) No later than January 1, 2025, the Cradle-to-Career Data System Workgroup shall 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.

(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.

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 childcare care staff, including those who provide care at licensed and unlicensed facilities.
(b) The department 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, 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 childcare 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 childcare 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 education 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.