First 5 Association of California and First 5 LA today hailed Governor’s Newsom’s continuing support of young children and their families in his 2020-21 budget proposal.
“We appreciate the governor’s evident and ongoing commitment to supporting California’s young children, their families, and others who care for them,” said Kim Goll, president of the First 5 Association board and executive director of First 5 Orange County. “In proposing additional investments in childcare, preschool, paid family leave, and prevention of child poverty and adverse childhood experiences, it is clear Governor Newsom understands that strong families are the key to a strong state. We look forward to continuing to work with the administration and legislators to ensure our children thrive in their schools, communities, and lives.”
In his first year in office, Governor Newsom proved he is committed to making significant steps to help our littlest Californians have the best start in life, said Kim Belshé, executive director of First 5 LA.
“This year’s budget, like last year’s budget, acknowledges that children thrive when they have access to comprehensive services like health, early education, economic, and family strengthening, at the same time,” Belshé added. “We see him continuing to take steps to make our state systems and programs better understand and serve the needs of families with young children. Much work still needs to be done in creating greater cohesiveness and ease of navigation for families to access the services they need. The Governor has started to lay the groundwork for this to happen.”
Early childhood aspects included in the governor’s budget include the following:
- Universal job protection to all workers who take paid family leave and disability leave regardless of employee size; and $1 million to help small businesses mitigate associated expenses
- $10 million in one-time funding to develop a cross-sector training program for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), and for a public awareness program, around trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive responses, for specific sectors including early childhood, education, government, and law enforcement
- An additional $53.8 million for CalWORKS Stages 2 and 3 Child Care
- $50 million in ongoing funding from the Cannabis Fund (Prop 64) to support over 3,000 general child care slots, and an additional $10.3 million to add 621 general child care spaces
- An additional $31.9 million in 2021, and $127 million ongoing, for 10,000 additional state preschool slots (full-day, full-year), effective April 1, 2021
By investing $1 billion to fight homelessness around the state, the proposed budget would also profoundly affect many families with young children, who account for one third of the state’s homeless population.