Child Care Keeps California Working and Children Learning

We are happy to share our Spring Newsletter with you.  Lots of exciting things are happening around the State in the area of Early Childhood Education and support for working families.  In partnership with our ten member agencies, the Child Care Alliance continues to stay on top of these.
We'd like to introduce a new feature to our Newsletter - Meet the Alliance Agencies.  We begin with the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation.

Cristina Alvarado
Executive Director
Meet the Alliance Agencies:
Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (MAOF)
Martin Castro, President & CEO

The Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (MAOF) is one of the largest Latino social-service agencies in the United States.  Founded in 1963, the organization became an extraordinary example of leadership and service in the community.  Since then, MAOF has grown to become a seven-county agency serving 100,000 people in programs such as: Resource & Referral, Subsidized Child Care, Infant and Toddler Programs, Child Care Centers; State Preschools; Head Start centers; a Network of Child Care Providers; Senior and Disabled Services; Employment Services such as Job Training; H ealth Promotion and Education; a Food Bank; Financial Literacy and Computer Literacy Education.  Within Los Angeles County, MAOF serves an area that spans from Monterey Park to Paramount and from East Los Angeles to Santa Fe Springs.
Martin Castro is President and Chief Executive Officer of MAOF.  In this capacity, he steers the organization forward while maintaining strong ties with local business and legislative representatives.  Mr. Castro is in his fourth year of being the Chair of the Board for CCALA, where we bring together the leadership of our member agencies to successfully partner in serving communities at the local level in the area of Early Care and Education and Subsidized Child Care.
At a State level, Mr. Castro often testifies in Sacramento during Legislative Hearings to address the needs of children and working families.  In addition, he currently serves as President of the Board of the statewide membership organization, CAPPA (California Alternative Payment Program Association).
Many of us have been awed by the Mexican American Hall of Fame at MAOF's main office, where numerous Hispanics are recognized for their contributions to the community over the years.  One of these individuals is the new California Speaker of the Assembly, Anthony Rendon.  Speaker Rendon is a former staff member at MAOF, having served as its Executive Vice President from  2000 to 2005.
Mr. Castro, who attended Speaker Rendon's inauguration in early March, is excited about the appointment.  "We look forward to working with Speaker Rendon on issues that affect our families, especially the need for high-quality child care services and ongoing support of families.  Speaker Rendon has made Early Childhood Education a top priority in his office, and we look forward to our continued partnership with him."  

California Speaker of the Assembly, Anthony Rendon 
with MAOF President and CEO, Martin Castro.

CCALA Legislative Priorities
CCALA has an active Public Policy Committee, chaired by Dr. Mike Olenick of the Child Care Resource Center.  The policy efforts of CCALA include advocacy on behalf of families and children.  We support the recommendations made by the Legislative Women's Caucus and we join a group of organizations, including CCALA, CAPPA, RR Network, CCDAA and Children Now who advocate for these Legislative priorities:
Increase all reimbursement rates:
  • Make significant investments in both the Regional Market Rate and Standard Reimbursement Rate systems to ensure forward progress toward paying early care and education providers to reflect the current cost of care.
  • Consider the benefits of a single reimbursement system for vouchers and contracted centers based on regional market rates and quality of care.
Increase Access for families by adding additional Slots:
  • Add Additional slots in both the General Child Care and Alternative Payment systems to expand access to child care for families with a variety of needs.
Increase family friendly practices to increase access to care:
State Median Income for Family Eligibility:
  • Increase the levels of eligibility to reflect the current State Median Income (SMI) which has been frozen at a level based on 2005 cost of living, to ensure low income families have access to subsidized services.
  • Promote and clarify language related to 12-month eligibility for subsidized child care services.
In addition, we are actively tracking the movement on the new Federal requirements that will be affected by the recent CCDBG (Child Care Development Block Grant) reauthorization.  In a recent visit to an MAOF child care center, Alliance Chair Martin Castro discusses this topic with Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard.

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) 
(in center wearing red) visits MAOF's child care center. 

The Patricia Siegel Bill
Senator Carol Liu with Patricia Siegel c.2005

The Patricia Siegel Bill, Senate Bill 1154 (Senator Carol Liu)

It is quite fitting that one of our long-term champions, Senator Carol Liu (District 25), is carrying
Senate Bill 1154 in the 2016 Legislative session.  This is an act to amend and update several sections of the Education Code as it relates to child care and development services, specifically Resource and Referral (R&R) services.

SB 1154 updates R&R programs that have served our communities for the past 40 years.  The intent of the Bill, known as the Patricia Siegel Child Care Resource and Referral Memorial Act of 2016, is to clean-up legislation and add the current work of the R&R agencies.  This section of the Education Code has not been updated since 1976.

The Patricia Siegel Child Care Resource and Referral Memorial Act of 2016, would replace language that established an out of date fixed funding rate with a general funding allocation statement.
In addition, the code would describe the services to be provided by the R&R's as follows:
  • To provide no-cost child care referrals to families.  
  • To provide training and workshops relating to child care services, community resource assistance, and collaboration with other community agencies in planning, coordinating, and improving child care
  • To codify the various ways families conduct their child care search, including the use of technology.
  • To protect the distribution of provider information to be consistent with the Health and Safety Code, especially for small family child care providers.
  • To utilize the State's R&R infrastructure to collect information about the supply and demand for child care.
The Bill is named after the founder of the Resource & Referral Programs in California, Patricia Siegel.  Patty was a pioneer for the R&R system in California. In 1976, Patty was instrumental in passing legislation to initially fund 11 R&R agencies. 
For the next 31 years, Patty served as Executive Director of the California Child Care Resource & Referral Network, where she continued to advocate for children, families, and child care providers in California and nationally. Today, there are 68 R&R agencies providing services throughout the state. 
The R&R Network, under Patty's leadership, continued to coordinate the work of the state's R&R's, advocate in both Sacramento and Washington, and publish valuable data in its annual California Child Care Portfolio.  Patty played a significant role in creating the Child Care Initiative Project (CCIP), a statewide public-private partnership to expand the supply of licensed quality child care by recruiting and training new family child care providers, with special emphasis on infants and toddlers and Spanish speaking communities.  She inspired and guided the development of Parent Voices, a grassroots parent-led, effort to engage and empower parents to actively and successfully participate in the policy process.
Along with Senator Carol Liu, we are honored to support this year's SB 1154, named in memoriam of Patricia Siegel and her significant contributions to the State of California. 

Patty Siegel, Founding Executive Director
CA Child Care Resource & Referral Network (Network)
from 1980 thru 2011
Passed away on 12/25/15
Rest in Peace
Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles  |  (323) 274-1380  |