The following statement can be attributed to Moira Kenney, Executive Director of First 5 Association, in response to Governor Newsom’s 2018-19 May Budget Revision, released today.
“The cornerstone of Governor Newsom’s May budget revision is a strong Parent Agenda that will improve the lives of young children and families.
“By adding revenue to boost child care, family income, and access to developmental services, and by supporting paid family leave, this administration makes it clear: We must prioritize young kids and their families to realize a California for All.
“One in five young children in California lives in poverty. To support these children, we must support their families. Doubling the amount of the California Earned Income Tax Credit to $1,000 for families with kids under age six will be a great help to the families of young kids who struggle the most financially. And a focus on building new housing will help alleviate the housing instability that one in four children face.
“Child care is also a big source of financial strain for most families— a year of infant care costs the same as a year of college tuition. California has never seen a stronger budget to increase access to child care and further build out an early system of care.
“Increasing paid family leave to eight weeks, with a plan to get to six months, also eases financial stress. More importantly, bonding with a loving caregiver has lifelong benefits for a child’s health and wellbeing. It also helps with workforce retention, especially for women.
“One in four children under age six are at risk of developmental delay. Far too many of these children do not access services in a timely manner—especially children of color and low-income children. The May revision helps address this by increasing developmental services provider rates by $330 million.
“I’m so pleased that Governor Newsom’s proposals address many key early childhood issues that, historically, have been neglected in the budget. When we support children in the earliest years, we not only shape the course of their lives, we shape our future as a state.”
About First 5 Association
First 5 Association of California is the voice of the 58 First 5 county commissions, which were created by voters in 1998 to ensure our kids are healthy, safe, and ready to learn. Together, First 5 touches the lives of more than one million kids, families, and caregivers each year, and strengthens our state by giving kids the best start in life. Learn more: www.first5association.org