Sunday, 28 November 2021

Aguiar-Curry’s bill to expand child care for infants and toddlers sails out of committee

SACRAMENTO – AB 2292, authored by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), passed out of the Assembly Education Committee this week with overwhelming bipartisan support on a 7-0 vote.  

This bill is a California Legislative Women’s Caucus priority for the year, and the only state budget request the caucus is backing.

AB 2292 expands our state’s capacity for child care by increasing the reimbursement rates for infant and toddler care, creating an inclusive grant program to help pay for new and renovated child care facilities, and establishing a fund to recruit a new generation of providers.

“Kids are our future. Our children’s brains are wired from the moment they’re born and the first three years of life are critical to their development. AB 2292 will ensure that children from lower income families have the best opportunity to have that development supported by our state programs,” said Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry. “The choice seems pretty simple to me: support working families, and those trying to move into the workplace, or fail these children and have to support their families through the social safety net in other ways.”

The state’s current reimbursement rates to infant and toddler child care providers are exceptionally low and inadequate for the high standard of care required for children ages zero to three. This bill will address this problem by increasing the level of funding available to provide an increased number of childcare professionals with the resources they need.

Further, AB 2292 will create a new grant program to help cover the start-up costs for new child care facilities, as well as converting existing facilities to serve this younger age group. This bill will also expand the “Family Child Care Recruitment and Training Fund,” dedicating $6 million dollars over the next 5 years to recruit new infant and toddler child care providers and encourage the growth of new small businesses and professionals in this field.

AB 2292 is sponsored by First Five California, the Child Care Development Administrators Association, and the Child Care Resource Center.

“Since the Great Recession we have lost 35 percent of our licensed family child care caregivers who provided most of the infant and toddler care in our communities,” said Michael Olenick, president and CEO of Child Care Resource Center. “Being able to recruit and train more new providers would be a great service to young parents who are desperate to find reliable quality care for their babies.”

“The severe shortage of infant and toddler care providers in California is creating a crisis for working parents, our businesses, and our state’s future,” said Camille Maben, executive director of First 5 California. “AB 2292 provides the core building blocks California needs to rebuild high quality infant and toddler care and infrastructure in the state – adequate per-child funding rates, inclusive facilities, and licensing capacity.”

AB 2292 now moves to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, where it will be evaluated and voted on based on its fiscal impact to the state. Coauthors include Assemblymembers Autumn Burke (D-Marina del Rey), Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona), Susan Eggman (D-Stockton), Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Orange County), Blanca E. Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), Marie Waldron (R-Escondido), and Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino).

Aguiar-Curry represents the Fourth Assembly District, which includes all of Lake and Napa counties, all of Yolo County except West Sacramento, and parts of Colusa County, Solano County and Sonoma County. Visit her Web site at www.asm.ca.gov/aguiar-curry.

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