March 19, 2013: A joint hearing of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services (Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, Chair) and Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 on Education Finance (Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Contra Costa, Chair) will be held at the Capitol, Room 4202, tomorrow, March 20 at 1:30 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend.
Tim Fitzharris, legislative analyst for the
at left with Nina Buthee of the California Child Development Administrators Ass'n.,
has reviewed Governor Brown’s budget for 2013-14 with an eye toward changes in child care and preschool funding, and notes:
*$2.4 billion for child care and preschool programs. Overall funding increases by $12 million based on minor changes for Stages 1-3 of CalWORKs (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids, the welfare shift created federally in 1996 through President Clinton’s welfare reform policies/legislation). Budget does not include cost-of-living adjustments for any child care or preschool program.
"There will be an item on tomorrow's agenda -- "priorities for reinvestment" -- for committee members to hear from advocates on "where we should invest first, if we begin reinvesting in child development" -- Advocate Tim Fitzharris, re: the March 20 budget hearings on child care/preschool funding for '13-'14.
*Budget anticipates average monthly Stage 1 CalWORKs caseload to increase by 1,877 slots; stage 2 will decrease by 5, 187 slots because “an exceptionally large cohort of families [are] projected to “time out” of the program. Stage 3 is projected to increase by 1,385 slots (transitioning from Stage 2).
*The budget has dropped 100 slots (based on expected decrease in under-5 population) from publicly subsidized non-welfare child care/preschools (state preschool program, APP programs, general child care, migrant child care). Fitzharris questions the wisdom of this decision "...in the context of the large unmet need for subsidized child care and preschool across the state. Given the thousands of children on waiting lists for slots in these programs, a slightly declining child population likely will not noticeably decrease demand for existing slots."
*As far as the state preschools (Prop 98 funding; part- ana full-day services to 3- and 4-year-olds) are concerned "...the Governor does not propose to increase in 2013-14 [its budget], desite the fact that it has experienced larger funding reductions than most other [Prop 98] programs in recent years." The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) has recommended that the Legislature "wait to determine how much additional preschool funding to provide" until the May Revision of the budget.
Both Fitzharris and Buthee (above) will be among the speakers at CDPI's Annual Spring Institute, scheduled for May 20-21 at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento; register here. As is traditional, the Institute and its agenda coincides with the May Revision of the state budget.
Quick refresher: CalWORKs stage 1 is a parent entering into a county-approved welfare-to-work activity or employment. Stage 1 lasts for up to six months under work and child care are stable. (But: can stay longer if Stage 2 and 3 aren’t sufficiently funded.) Stage 2 begins when work are child care are stable; cash assistance is still provided the family for up to 24 months. Stage 3 (no cash assistance) provides subsidized child care for working parents. CalWORKs is funded through a combination of state and federal money; a typical cash assistance formula would grant a family of three (mother, two children), $638/month.