Members of California’s Legislative Women’s Caucus are proposing at least $625 million in this year’s budget for early childhood development. The Caucus wants to restore more than 100,000 early childhood program spaces cut during the recession.
Democratic Senator Hannah Beth-Jackson says the added revenue could return 40,000 of those lost spaces.
“We are calling on the Governor and our leadership to re-invision our future and re-invest in it,” says Jackson. “Our future really is our children.”
Members of the Women’s Caucus say State Senate President Pro-Tem Darrell Steinberg’s proposal to fund pre-school for four-year-olds is a good start, but ages 0-3 are also crucial development years.
The Department of Finance says the Governor’s budget proposal sets nearly $700 million aside to fund existing childcare programs.
But the Brown administration warn against adding hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending to this year’s budget, even with a couple of billion dollars in unexpected revenue since January. Administration officials say there is no guarantee the money will be there in the future.