January 27, 2022
Black, Brown, and Immigrant parents deserve good, affordable child care and child care providers, most of whom are women of color, have a right to fair pay for their integral work.
Each year, the governor and legislature have an opportunity to fulfill these fundamental rights by allocating adequate funding for child care in the state budget.
The pandemic has amplified how critical child care is for families during the past two years. With the pandemic far from over, more and more families desperately juggle child care, expenses, work schedules, upheaval due to Covid-19, daycare program and school closures, and illness. We still need substantial state funding to give families nurturing child care and providers the wages and job protections they deserve.
This week, on Monday, January 10, Governor Newsom released his budget Blueprint for California in 2022. Despite a projected surplus of $20.6 billion in the General Fund and a child care waiting list of one million children, Governor Newsom’s proposed budget does not contain much new spending on child care.
Governor Newsom’s budget for child care relies on multi-year expenditures that he and the legislature agreed to last year:
- $1.6 B to fund 145,000 child care spaces (35,000 new spaces, in addition to 110,000 added last year)
- $373 million for a full year of rate increases to child care providers (agreed to in last year’s budget)
- $25 million to address child care deserts
Laurie Furstenfeld, Co-Director of Legal & Legislative Advocacy at the Child Care Law Center, expressed that these proposed dollars are not enough to fund child care for families in our state:
“The budget last year froze child care co-payments for struggling families and assured child care providers could stay open despite pandemic absences. These reforms gave parents and providers much-needed relief – and they began to undo the past racist practices. It’s distressing that Governor Newsom did not include them this year.”
Babies and toddlers are relying on us to prioritize their development. Families are increasingly going without the immense support system of child care. Child care providers need lawmakers to pay them fairly to sustain their businesses. By refusing to allocate resources for child care, the Governor’s Budget exacerbates racial inequities and diminishes Californians’ quality of life.
Legislators will respond with a budget of their own over the next few months. As they work with the governor, we urge them to take the opportunity to create equitable policies so that all Californians can raise their families with dignity.