May Revision Letter to CA's Democratic Congressional Delegation

On May 31, the Network sent a letter to the California Democratic delegation asking if they could pressure Governor Newsom to reconsider, and ultimately reject the harmful cuts proposed in the May Revision.

With state budget negotiations in full swing, pressure from the CA Democratic Congressional delegation may help protect child care funding.

Read our letter here.

Trailer Bill Language

(last updated: 05/14/2024)

There is Trailer Bill Language (TBL) on Information Sharing for Small Family Child Care Homes (FCCHs), which would end the current requirement to remove the names of all small family child care homes (SFCCH) from the MyChildCarePlan.org public provider profiles. If the Trailer Bill Language is not passed, all SFCCHs would instead be listed as generic “Small Family Child Care Homes”.

Reasoning behind the TBL: CDSS is currently out of compliance with two conflicting regulations:

  1. Federal CCDF requirement that requires Consumer Education websites to display ALL licensed child care programs;

  2. State H&S Code that limits the sharing of SFCCH name & identifying information.

In response, CDSS requested to replace the names of SFCCHs with “Small Family Child Care Home” and remove the link on the provider’s profile to their licensing history on the CCL transparency site (the SFCCH profile will still include their license number).

Alternatively, the Network suggested adding a new data collection field that enables SFCCH providers to opt into (or out of) displaying their name on their mychildcareplan.org profile. By default, we would set all SFCCHs to Opt Out of showing their name.

These are short-term, temporary solutions to CDSS’s noncompliance.

If the TBL passes, there would be no need to remove the names of SFCCHs and CDSS would be in compliance. It also creates the opportunity for the Network to make more long-term changes such as adding in opt-in/opt-out language, which would protect SFCCHs that do not want to be listed. However, the current TBL includes language that the Network seeks to amend. For example, the paragraph that begins with “Notwithstanding” opens the possibility for online companies to gain access to SFCCH data. The Network proposes to strike this paragraph and add clarifying language around who can access CDSS information, specifically calling out R&Rs and other CDSS agencies.

The Network has drafted a letter requesting amended language to the TBL, you can view the letter here.


Assembly & Senate Joint Budget Plan

(released 5/29)

Since the release of the May Revision, the Assembly and Senate have worked hard to craft a joint budget plan which must pass by Saturday, June 15, 2024. The Budget Plan was released on May 29, with budget hearings in both houses on May 30. The Budget Plan restores funding to a number of vital safety net programs.

Read more about it here.

Response to the Governor's May Revision

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (May 10, 2024) - Earlier today, Governor Gavin Newsom released a revised 2024-25 budget (aka “May Revision” or “May Revise”), proposing additional cuts as lower than expected tax collections worsen the projected revenue shortfall. The exact amount of the shortfall is still unclear: according to the Governor, the shortfall is $27.6B; the LAO will release its own estimate next week, which is expected to be higher than the Governor’s.

At present, the Governor’s position is that current levels of core services would remain stable overall. However, he proposes to freeze child care slots at the current level of 119,000. The plans for the remaining 81,000 slots are unclear, but reaching the promised 200,000 is not currently part of the Governor’s planning for the next two fiscal years. Furthermore, approximately $35 million will be cut from the Foster Care Bridge Program, which addresses a common barrier for families accepting children in foster care, the lack of affordable child care.

He also emphasized that California remains strong and resilient, pointing to an increasing population, record high tourism, and its status as the 5th largest economy in the world.

There is no question that adjustments are needed to achieve a balanced budget. However, child care access and affordability are foundations of a strong economy. Child care is essential for Californians to work, and already inaccessible or unaffordable to so many families in the state. Even the promised 200,000 slots responded to a fraction of the actual need.

The Governor remains firmly opposed to revenue solutions, promising “no new taxes” and rather, that the state become “more efficient and more effective.” We disagree with the resistance to revenue solutions, as budget shortfalls are expected over multiple fiscal years. Alongside advocates and researchers focused on equity and shared prosperity for all, we urge him to reconsider this position. Cuts that impact workforce participation further destabilize California households, which are already struggling to afford basic expenses such as child care.

###

In response to proposed cuts to the Emergency Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children ("Bridge Program"), the Network signed a response letter urging legislators to reject this harmful cut.

Click to View the Bridge Response Letter

More resources:

Governor's May Revision (aka "May Revise")

On May 10, Governor Gavin Newsom released an updated budget proposal known as the “May Revision” or “May Revise”. It includes up-to-date revenue figures from income, corporate, and sales taxes as well as early action items aimed at reducing the estimated $27.6 billion deficit (which the LAO estimates at $56 billion).

Read more about it here.

Response to the Governor's January Budget Proposal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 17, 2024) – Last Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom released a proposed 2024-25 state budget. In contrast to the Legislative Analyst’s Office’s (LAO’s) earlier projection of a $68 billion shortfall, the Governor estimated the deficit at approximately $38 billion. The delta is best explained by differences in opinion and optimism regarding future revenues, with the LAO offering a more cautious prediction.

We appreciate that the Governor’s budget does not cut subsidized child care slots and makes an effort to move toward the 200k additional slots by FY 25-26, as promised three years ago in FY 21-22. The Governor has reaffirmed his commitment to implementing the changes that were made last year to shore up the child care supply, including maintaining the rate adjustments to subsidized care as cost of care payment rates are developed and sustaining the health care and retirement benefit funds for home-based child care providers.

In what will certainly be a challenging state budget year with significant revenue shortfalls, it was encouraging that our child care support system did not suffer aggressive state cuts. However, we have lost crucial federal child care relief funding at a time when families and providers are struggling to make ends meet. We risk dire implications for families.

According to the California Budget & Policy Center, income inequality worsened dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The top 1% had 78 times the income of middle-income Californians, on average, in 2021, up from 49 times the income just two years earlier.” The Governor’s Budget Summary acknowledges rising inequality and other risks to the state’s economy, including an aging population, lower fertility rates, and high housing and living costs. Coupled with the loss of federal funding, we can expect more California families will need support in the coming year. “Merely maintaining the status quo of public expenditures on safety net programs is not enough. Raising a family in California has become less and less affordable. Current funding levels can’t counteract rapidly rising inequality and poverty levels,” said Linda Asato, Executive Director of the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network.

Therefore, while the fiscal situation will require making difficult choices to achieve a balanced budget, child care remains essential for Californians to earn income to support their families and participate in society and the economy.

We will continue to dialogue with our state leaders as the budget season progresses, to lift the voices of those that aren’t often heard, but who are affected by decisions made.

###

Our policy team takes positions on legislation and budget decisions that impact children, families, and the child care system. We work collaboratively to inform policymakers of the impact of legislative and budget decisions on working families. Often, we will provide testimony and send letters of support or opposition.

Click to Download the Network's 2024 Policy Agenda

Budget Resources