On NBLC’s annual Legislative Advocacy Day, we were pleased by the response of Senator Pro-Tempore, Darrell Steinberg, with our request for expanded pre-school. Sen. Steinberg shared with us his new plan the Senate Fair Start proposal, which:
- provides high-quality pre-k opportunities to all low-income 4 year olds—an additional 234,000 children;
- provides full-day, full-year pre-k to those with at least one working parent, totaling 77,000 children; and
- takes effect in fall 2015 at a modest additional cost of $378 million.
The senator also backed the goal of the Legislative Women’s Caucus to offer more than 40,000 child care opportunities for low-income children, largely focused on those ages from birth to age 3, starting this year.
The NBLC delegation was also pleased with the Assembly budget subcommittee proposal, which was also approved:
- includes $440 million to add 47,000 new early education spaces;
- increases reimbursement rates and family eligibility;
- eliminates the Preschool Family Fee;
- improves provider quality; and
- reinstates a state stipend for nutrition.
The legislation will move on to the budget committees. Please add your voice that these proposals that put our youngest learners first are important and need to pass. With their leadership, we can send a strong budget proposal to Governor Brown with a clear message: our children deserve a fair start!