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The 2021-22 Budget: Child Care Proposals


The 2020-21 Budget: Early Education Analysis

February 21, 2020 - In this report, we provide an overview of the Governor’s early education proposals, then analyze his three major early education proposals. Specifically, we analyze his proposals to (1) expand the number of full‑day preschool slots, (2) create a new department to administer child care programs, and (3) fund facilities for more preschool programs.


The 2019-20 Budget: Early Education Analysis

March 4, 2019 - In this report, we provide an overview of the Governor’s early education proposals, then analyze his three major proposals in this area. Specifically, we analyze his proposals to (1) fund facilities for more full‑day kindergarten programs, (2) make targeted one‑time improvements to the child care and preschool system, and (3) expand the number of full‑day preschool slots. We then assess the administration’s cost estimates for the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) child care programs. We end the report with a summary of our early education recommendations.


The 2021-22 Budget: Analysis of Child Welfare Proposals

February 11, 2021 - In this analysis of the Governor’s 2021-22 budget proposal for child welfare programs, we: (1) provide program background; (2) outline the Governor’s proposed budget for child welfare services and foster care programs; and (3) provide key questions and issues for the Legislature to consider related to the administration’s proposals for continued pandemic response, implementation of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, and ongoing implementation of Continuum of Care Reform.


The 2012-13 Budget: The Governor's CalWORKs and Child Care Proposals

February 22, 2012 - The Governor proposes to reduce funding for the CalWORKs program and state-subsidized child care programs. Under his budget plan, these programs would be reduced a total of $1.4 billion or about 20 percent in 2012-13 compared to what current law otherwise would require. These savings would be achieved by imposing stricter limits on which families are eligible to receive which types of services, as well as lowering state payments for CalWORKs recipients and child care providers. Additionally, the Governor’s proposal would make major changes to the way the state administers both welfare-to-work and child care services. In this report, we describe and analyze the Governor’s proposals related to the CalWORKs program and then turn to a similar discussion of the proposed changes to child care programs. We conclude by providing the Legislature with illustrative packages of ways to achieve savings in these two areas using different approaches than the Governor's.


[PDF] The 2017-18 Budget: Analysis of Child Care and Preschool Proposals

March 16, 2017 - In this report, we analyze the Governor’s child care and preschool proposals. The report has six main sections. In the first section, we provide background on child care and preschool programs in California. In the second section, we provide an overview of the Governor’s child care and preschool proposals. In the third section, we analyze the Governor’s preschool proposals and make associated recommendations. In the following two sections, we provide in‑depth analyses of (1) the state’s various quality improvement activities and (2) Alternative Payment agencies, which administer certain child care programs. The final section consists of a summary of the recommendations we make throughout the report.


The 2020-21 Spending Plan: Early Education

October 26, 2020 - This post summarizes the state’s 2020-21 spending package for early education. It is part of our Spending Plan series, which contains posts focused on each major sector of the state budget.


The 2021-22 Budget: Overview of the Spending Plan (Final Version)

October 27, 2021 - Each year, our office publishes the California Spending Plan to summarize the annual state budget. This publication provides an overview of the 2021-22 Budget Act, then highlights major features of the budget approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.


A Review of Child Care and Preschool Program Flexibilities in Certain Counties

May 13, 2021 - In this post we provide background on child care and preschool program flexibilities that have been granted to certain counties. We then assess these flexibilities and provide issues for the Legislature to consider in deciding whether to maintain flexibilities.


The 2021-22 Budget: Transitional Kindergarten Expansion Package

February 5, 2021 - This post analyzes the Governor’s Transitional Kindergarten expansion proposals and offers comments for the Legislature to consider.


The 2021-22 Spending Plan: Child Care and Preschool

December 17, 2021 - This post summarizes the state’s 2021-22 spending package for child care and preschool. It is part of our Spending Plan series, which contains posts focused on each major sector of the state budget.


EdBudget Tables (January 2017)

January 13, 2017 - At key times during the state's budget cycle, we post tables containing important information about the education parts of the budget. This initial January posting reflects the 2017-18 Governor's Budget proposals. The tables cover Proposition 98, K-12 education, child care and preschool, higher education, and student financial aid. We will publish additional tables as we have them available.


[PDF] The 2016-17 Budget: Analysis of Child Care and Preschool Proposals

February 24, 2016 - In this report, we analyze the Governor’s child care and preschool proposals. The report includes (1) a high-level overview of the proposed child care and preschool budget, and (2) an assessment of the Governor's proposals to restructure California's child care and preschool programs. At the end of the report, we provide a summary of our recommendations.


The 2020-21 Budget: Assessing the Governor's Reorganization Proposals

February 7, 2020 - As part of his budget plan for 2020‑21, the Governor proposes six government reorganizations across several policy areas. In many cases, the Governor proposes consolidating agencies or shifting responsibilities from existing agencies to newly established entities. The proposals would affect a broad array of state departments, offices, and commissions that perform a wide range of functions. In reviewing the Governor’s reorganization proposals, there are many issues for the Legislature to consider in determining whether to approve or reject each proposal. In this brief, we outline a broad framework to consider these issues. Specifically, we recommend that the Legislature consider key questions when evaluating the proposals.


[PDF] Restructuring California's Child Care and Development System

April 4, 2014 - We believe California's child care and development system has several serious design flaws. Most notably, families accessing some subsidized child care programs may choose among a broad array of providers whereas families accessing other programs have access to child care only offered in particular places. In addition, some child care programs are required to include developmentally appropriate activities whereas other programs are required to meet only health and safety standards. While these two elements--choice and developmentally appropriate care--are strengths of specific child care programs, the fundamental shortcoming of California's current system is that no subsidized program exhibits both of these strengths concurrently. Given the serious shortcomings of the state's child care and development system, we recommend the Legislature fundamentally restructure it. Our report lays out a plan for a new, simplified, more rational system that treats similar families similarly. Since a fundamental restructuring would take time, the report also includes a roadmap that the Legislature could use for incrementally moving to this new system.


Child Development

February 21, 2007 - Our five-year forecast shows Proposition 98 funding is to increase much more than needed to cover baseline costs. Thus, we think this is an opportune time to develop an education roadmap that lays out funding priorities, coordinates investments, and implements accompanying policy improvements. Given the significant achievement gap between low-income children and their higher income peers, our suggested roadmap includes expanding early child development and preschool programs for low-income children. To help ensure success of any program expansion, we also make various recommendations relating to wrap around child care, facilities, and program quality.