State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell today urged Senate Budget Subcommittees to block a proposal in the Governor’s May Revision to eliminate state-funded child care programs and support services. The item will be heard before the Senate Education Budget Subcommittee on Tuesday. O’Connell also applauded the Assembly Education Budget Subcommittee and the Assembly Health and Human Services Budget Subcommittee for blocking the proposal last week.
“I commend the Democratic members of the Assembly Education and Health and Human Services Budget Subcommittees for their support of approximately 100,000 California working parents and their children, including babies and toddlers. When the Senate Budget Subcommittees review this misguided proposal, I urge them to act as well to protect these vitally needed programs and services.
“The Governor’s proposal to eliminate $1.45 billion in funding for subsidized child care programs and support services would be a severe blow to poor- and middle-class working families. Quality child care provides a critical start to the development of young minds and is a valuable tool in the efforts to help close the achievement gap. Access to child care is essential as it allows parents to continue to work and contribute to the economy. At a time when the state’s child care network is already overburdened, the elimination of the subsidized child care programs and support services would be devastating.
“State-funded child care programs also employ more than 130,000 child care professionals who provide child care services in many different settings, including child care and development centers and licensed family child care homes. Eliminating these programs would simply add thousands more to the rolls of the unemployed and underemployed.”