California Early Learning Budget Update


On Friday, January 10th Governor Newsom released his annual California State Budget Proposal. The proposal builds on the Governor’s plan, outlined in last year’s budget, to expand high-quality, affordable, full-time preschool to all low-income 4-year-olds during his first three years in office. This year’s proposed budget adds 10,000 new slots, beginning in April 2021.

Governor Newsom also announced that his Administration will create a new Department of Early Childhood Development, housed in the Department of Health and Human Services, to consolidate funding and streamline access to all services for children, including childcare, early learning, health care, and mental health services. The exception is state-subsidized preschool for 3 and 4-year olds, which will remain in the Department of Education.

To read a summary of Governor Newsom’s early childhood budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2020, click here.  

Next Steps

During the months of January and February, the Legislative Analyst’s Office provides a detailed review of the budget and recommends legislative action. In March, April, and May, the budget is considered by the senate and assembly budget committees and by relevant sub-committees, who can approve, reject, or make adjustments to spending levels. Good2Know Network will keep you updated on this process and suggest opportunities for you to share your opinion on early learning budget items with members of the assembly and senate.

Proposed ECE Investments

Below is a list of some of the key elements of the budget proposal announced on January 10th.

  • Preschool Expansion:  $31.9 million in addition to $127 million in ongoing non-Proposition 98 funds to create 10,000 additional preschool slots

  • Childcare: $53.8 million non-Prop. 98 funds for CalWORKS Stages 2 and 3 to reflect caseload changes.

  • Preschool Facilities: $75 million added to the Inclusive Early Education Expansion Program. $300 million in funds left over from last year’s Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant Program to construct preschool facilities on school campuses. (In addition, if voters approve the measure in March 2020, AB 48 funds may be used for preschool facilities on school campuses.)

  • Cost of Living Adjustment: 2.9% COLA for state preschool programs.

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Training: $10 million, one-time funding from the General Fund for the Surgeon General’s office to develop adverse childhood experiences training program.

  • Special Education School Readiness: $250 million (down from $493 million last year) to increase and improve services for 3 to 5-year-olds with exceptional needs.

  • Child Savings Accounts: $25 million, one-time general fund allocation to support child savings accounts grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations.

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