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The Early Care and Education (ECE) Coalition envisions child care and early childhood education systems that serve and meet the diverse needs of all children, families and ECE professionals, especially Black, Latinx, Indigenous people and others harmed by systemic racism and additional injustices; integrate culturally, developmentally and linguistically relevant and responsive high-quality care and education for children, inclusive of children with disabilities; and value and justly compensate all who serve children and families.

We want to thank the Governor, Legislature, and Legislative Women’s Caucus for your long-standing commitment to supporting and growing California's ECE system. As the Governor prepares to release his January 2024-25 State Budget, we urge him to affirm that commitment to adopt and fund the Alternative Methodology for Early Care and Education (ECE) rates and continue the rollout of the additional 200,000 ECE spaces, per the commitment made in 2021-2022 budget over five years. Coming out of the pandemic, ECE continues to be in a state of crisis. If the state does not fulfill its promises to invest in ECE, more early care and education providers will be forced to close their doors, and California will lose more immigrant, Latine, API, and Black women-owned businesses. 

California cannot afford to lose any more ECE providers. We know thousands of eligible families are still on wait lists, hoping to secure an ECE space. The lack of access to enriching ECE programs is felt by all California families, but it is most dramatically impacting families with low incomes.

We urge the administration to do the following in your proposed January 2024-25 State Budget:

  • Affirm your commitment to the timeline and benchmarks established in SB 140 (2023) to move to an Alternative Methodology for ECE rates aligned with the recommendations of the state working group and the Joint Labor Management Committee.

  • Ensure costs associated with moving to an Alternative Methodology build on the revised rates, including one-time stipends provided in the current year - as a transition plan for when the Alternative Methodology is developed and use the 2023-24 budget deal as the starting point so the state does not go back to prior levels.

  • Continue the rollout of the additional 200,000 child care spaces, per the commitment made in the 2021-2022 State Budget Act.

Including these critical items in the January 2024-25 Budget Proposal will signal the state’s ongoing commitment to California families and the women of color who care for and educate our youngest children. 

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