The Governor has proposed significant cuts to child care funding in next year's budget. Let California Senators know that you OPPOSE cuts to child care. Keep reading for more information, or click here to visit CAPPA's page on the budget proposals.
Child Care and Preschool Program Reductions. The Governor’s budget proposes the following reductions to the state funded child care reductions in 2012-13:
- Stricter Work Requirements and Reduced Time Limits for CalWORKs Recipients - $293.6 million in savings in non-Proposition 98 General Fund by reducing time limits on CalWORKs for adults not meeting work participation requirements and applying stricter work participation requirements for all families receiving child care services. Specifically, single parent families with older children would be required to work 30 hours per week. New eligibility criteria would not provide subsidized child care for training and education activities. This change will eliminate services for 109,000 families as of April 2013. This reduction will eliminate about 46,300 child care slots.
- Reduce Income Eligibility - $43.9 million in non-Proposition 98 General Fund savings and $24.1 million in Proposition 98 General Fund savings by reducing the income eligibility ceilings from 70 percent of the state median income to 200 percent of the federal poverty level or 62 percent of state median income. This level equates to a reduction in the income ceiling for a family of three from $42,216 to $37,060. This reduction will eliminate about 8,400 child care slots and 7,300 state preschool slots.
- Reduce Provider Payments. The Governor has several proposals that would have the effect of reducing the payments to providers of child care and early childhood education services. These reductions include the following:
- Eliminate COLA - $29.9 million in non-Proposition 98 General Fund savings and $11.7 million in Proposition 98 General Fund savings by eliminating the statutory COLA for capped non-CalWORKs child care programs.
- Reduce Reimbursement Market Rate (RMR) Ceilings and Update Survey Data - $11.8 million in non-Proposition 98 General Fund savings by reducing the reimbursement rate ceilings for voucher-based programs from the 85th percentile of the private pay market, based on 2005 market survey data, to the 50th percentile based on 2009 survey data. Per the Administration, to preserve parental choice under lower reimbursement ceilings, rates for license-exempt providers will remain comparable to current levels, and these providers will be required to meet certain health and safety standards as a condition of receiving reimbursement. (A corresponding $5.3 million General Fund decrease is made to Stage 1 in the Department of Social Services budget to reflect the lower RMR.)
- Reduce State Reimbursement Rate (SRR) for Title 5 Contracts - $67.8 million in non-Proposition 98 General Fund savings and $34.1 million in Proposition 98 General Fund savings by reducing the standard reimbursement rate for direct-contracted Title 5 centers and homes by 10 percent.
Child Care Program Redesign and Realignment. The Governor also proposes major changes that would restructure the administration of the child care programs over two years. These changes are purported to focus state funding on providing work supports for low income families. The Administration proposes to replace the three-stage child care system for current and former CalWORKs recipients and programs serving low-income working parents with a work-based child care system administered by county welfare departments starting in 2013-14. The Governor is proposing a two year process to implement these changes.
- Year 1 - 2012-13 Structure. The Governor proposes to consolidate all funding for Stages 2, 3 and non-CalWORKs Alternative Payment (AP) programs into one block grant to the AP contractors. First priority for this block grant would be child care for families whose children are recipients of child protective services, or at risk of being abused, neglected or exploited, and cash-aided families meeting work requirements. However, other income eligible families meeting the new work requirements would also be eligible for the subsidy regardless of whether they had ever been on cash aid. Priority would be based on income and the previously listed factors.
In Year 1, CDE would continue to contract directly with Title 5 centers and Title 5 family child care homes, which comprise the State Preschool program and General Child Care program. They would also continue to contract for the smaller Migrant and Severely Handicapped Programs. The counties would also continue to administer Stage 1 contracts for CalWORKs. (See here for a diagram of the proposed 2012-13 structure change.)
- Year 2 - 2013-14 Structure. In Year 2 of the redesign, larger fundamental changes occur regarding the oversight and management of the child care programs. In Year 2 all of the child care funding at CDE (except part-day Preschool) would be consolidated with Stage 1 (administered by DSS) to provide a new consolidated block grant to the counties. Furthermore, all families, including those currently enrolled in Title 5 centers, would receive vouchers for a payment to a provider of their own choice.
The Administration has indicated that in Year 2 the county will be responsible for eligibility (currently the AP does eligibility for some programs), but the AP would continue to be responsible for administering and paying the network of child care providers. (See here for a diagram of the proposed 2013-14 structure change.)
***YOU HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE AN IMPACT!!*** Here's how:
1) attend the Senate Budget Subcommitee hearing on Thursday, April 12, 2012, at 9:30am in room 3191 of the State Capitol, Sacramento CA 95814.
2) call, write, or the Senate Budget Subcommittee members below. Click here for a sample letter.
Senator Carol Liu (D-Glendale)
State Capitol, Room 5061
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 324-7543
501 N. Central Ave.
Glendale, CA 91203
Phone: (818) 409-0400
Fax: (818) 409-1256
Senator Ted Gaines (R-Roseville)
State Capitol, Room 3056
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4001
Fax: (916) 324-2680
1700 Eureka Road, Suite 120
Roseville, CA 95661
Senator Roderick D. Wright (D-Los Angeles)
State Capitol, Room 5064
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4025
Fax: (916) 445-3712
Inglewood District Office
One Manchester Blvd., #600
Inglewood, CA 90301
Phone: (310) 412-0393
Fax: (310) 412-0996
Sources: Background Paper for March 1, 2012 Hearing of the California State Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, Email from 4/9/12 from Denyne Kowalewski, Executive Director of CAPPA, "Save Child Care: Take Action Now for April 12th!!"