California: Tell Governor Brown to NOT put our littlest learners "on pause"!
This month, Governor Brown released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 and unexpectedly announced that, despite growing state revenues, he was putting "a pause" on promised investments in child care and early learning opportunities. A pause? Let's tell Governor Brown that if he puts "a pause" on our littlest learners, California moms and dads are putting Governor Brown on a time-out!
In his budget proposal, the Governor backtracked on his promise to fund 3,000 new preschool slots and reneged on his commitment to increase early learning provider reimbursement rates, which zeroes out millions in child care and early learning spending planned for 2017-18.
We know California families are hurting. Nearly half of the state’s infants and toddlers are from families who are struggling to make ends meet , and only 9% of eligible families receive subsidies to help with affordability . It’s painfully clear that our kids and families need a boost. In today's economy, families often need two incomes just to make ends meet. 70.5% of mothers with children under age 18 are in the labor force either out of necessity or by choice.  And sadly, only 3 in 10 of our littlest learners have access to affordable high-quality preschool opportunities. Research tells us that high-quality early learning matters -- it provides the foundation on which our kids’ hopes and dreams will be built. Early learning (programs like preschool and childcare) is a win all-around -- for families, for communities, and for our economy.
So, Governor Brown: while you put our early learners on pause in this budget proposal, we want to put you on time-out until you recommit to lifting up all of California’s families! Join me in urging the Governor to fulfill his promise to invest in early learning!