"Children Learning, Parents Earning, Communities Growing"
Issue #2                                                    January 13, 2020
CAPPA's monthly "Featured Agency" segment will continue for 2020, highlighting the amazing work being done by Alternative Payment Programs (APPs) child development contractors throughout the state of California. From border-to-border, APPs support working families and children with services to support self-sufficiency, stability of children in child care, and a host of services coordinated to help break the cycle of poverty.  Many APPs also have been called on to serve as a community life-support of information and resources during natural disasters.  We are pleased to continue this tradition and bring focus to the untapped potential that is the 40 plus year APP community-based system. 

If you would like to be featured, 
please email us!
January 2020 Featured Agency of the Month 
Crystal Stairs, Inc.  

Our Field has Lost a Good Man

At the end of 2019, Dan Golden passed.  To those that had the pleasure of knowing Dan through his many decades of involvement with running an agency that supported the community and working families of Fresno county, this is a huge loss.  Being a realist, Dan created a plan for the seamless continuance of running Supportive Services Inc. when it was his time to go.   To those left behind with memories of this kind and funny man, Dan shared the following that was read at his service:

                                        You Can Shed Tears

You can shed tears that he is gone, 
Or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see him,
Or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn you back on tomorrow and live yesterday, 
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember only that he is gone,
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn you back,
Or you can do what he'd want: 
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

Quick Links
CAPPA Member Only Benefits
CAPPA Member Benefits now available on the Members Only website: 

Best Practices
CAPPA would like to support you with more samples of Best Practices being used in the field.  Currently, we host a number of SAMPLE Best Practices in our online library
Visit the Member's Only website to view today!

Just added to the Member's only website:

Visit the  CAPPA Member's Only website  for more information on this webinar series and other benefits available to CAPPA Members.  
2019-20 Board of Directors
Rick Richardson
Child Development Associates

Vice President

Karen Marlatt
Valley Oak Children's Services


Beth Chiaro
Child Care Resource Center 

LaVera Smith
Supportive Services Fresno

Past President
Martin Castro
Mexican American Opportunity Foundation

Public Policy Co-Chair
Jeffrey Moreira
Crystal Stairs, Inc.

Public Policy Co-Chair
Phillip Warner
Children's Council San Francisco 

Tina Barna
Choices for Children

Abby Shull
YMCA Childcare Resource Service 
Leslie Reece
Family Resource & Referral of San Joaquin County

Jeanne Fridolfs
Napa County Office of Education

Mike Michelon
Siskiyou Child Care Council

Marco Jimenez
Central Valley Children's Services Network

Jasmine Tijerino

Michelle Graham
Children's Resource & Referral of Santa Barbara County

Joie Owen
Glenn County Office of Education

Denyne Micheletti Colburn
January 2, 2020
California State Preschool Program (CSPP) Free or Reduced-Price Meal Eligibility Criteria to Enroll Four-Year-Olds
December 10, 2019
November 6, 2019
FY 2019-20 RFA for CSPP Expansion Funds
November 5, 2019
FY 2019-20 RFA for CCTR Expansion Funds
October 14, 2019
15-day comment period is now closed.
September 17, 2019
September 9, 2019
Management Bulletin 19-07: Continued Funding Application Fiscal Year 2020-21
Fiscal Year 2019-20 Two-Day Fiscal Training for Center-Based Contractors.   Additional information regarding location details and how to sign up for these trainings will be forthcoming
Job Openings

Is Your Organization Hiring?
Post your job announcement here for thousands to see!
There is no charge for CAPPA members.
Non-members will be charged a fee of $75.
Please email us your posting!

 Child Care Subsidy Coordinator
Program Supervisor - Data & Support
 (closes today at 12:00 PM)
Child Action, Inc., Sacramento

Associate Governmental Program Analyst
California Health & Human Services Agency

4Cs of Alameda County

Child Care Subsidy Coordinator
The Resource Connection
Colusa County Office of Education

Director of Alternative Payment Programs
Hively (Formerly Child Care Links) Alameda County

Solano Family and Children's Services

International Institute Los Angeles

Manager Early Childhood Special Education
Napa County Office of Education
Children's Council San Francisco  
Field Happenings
The CAPPA Board has made it a priority to support our field with a coordinated calendar to note upcoming statewide conferences, federal conferences of relevance, CDE and DSS stakeholder meetings and legislative and budget deadlines and hearings.
NOTE: If you would like to share your newsletter or items of interest with our field via the Monday morning e-Newsletter, then please  email us  a link.  Please make sure that you have a link included to an online version or viewing.
Become a Monday 
Update Partner! 

Our Monday Morning Update supports our Early Learning & Child Care field with timely information about what is going on in California and nationally; as well as dates to be aware and upcoming events. 

Our weekly (50 times per year) Monday morning distribution is to more than 4,000 federal and state local agencies, resource and referrals, contractors, legislators and their staffs', centers, parents, providers, state departments and advocates.  

To help support the continuation of this resource and or advertise in the Monday Morning Update, click 

You can also make a donation to CAPPA and CAPPA Children's Foundation 
The Children's Foundation is a non-profit organization (501(c)3), Taxpayer Identification Number is 
03-0521444. Your generous donation is tax deductible.
Of Interest
Next Week!

Child Care & End Child Poverty in CA Advocacy Day
January 22, 2020
California Endowment Building & State Capitol 

On January 22, 2020, over 40 organizations will be coming together at the State Capitol to lift up the issues impacting child care and ending child poverty in California, during the "Child Care and End Child Poverty in CA Advocacy Day".  This is a day that we will link arms, in a shared voice to put focus on the needs of California's poorest families and children; needs that when addressed lift families out of poverty. The messages of the day will be to show our appreciation to legislators for the funding and supports secured in 2019, but also to provide the data of the existing and growing unmet need that still exists.  This year's event will be bigger than ever before! 

There will be a press conference at 10:00am under a tent on the West Steps of the State Capitol.  This will be an opportunity to hear from legislators representing the Legislative Women's Caucus and leadership from both the Assembly and Senate.  Also on this day, over 75 meetings have been confirmed with individual Assembly and Senate members wherein attendees will be provided the opportunity for more one-on-one conversations.  Lunch will be provided under the tent on the Capitol grounds supplemented with a meet and greet opportunity extended to legislators and staff to join us. 

Simultaneously, over at the CA Endowment Building, there will be a Budget Training, where attendees will hear from experts about what Governor Newsom has proposed in his January budget.  We then will have time to ask questions and discuss our collective strategy for meeting with legislators in the afternoon.  The legislative meeting times will be set up and you simply need to share with us who you would like to meet with, i.e., your elected representatives.  It is encouraged that if you have district specific information relevant to a specific legislator, bring it.  After this session at the Endowment, we will walk over to the Capitol for legislative visits.  

Planned Schedule of Events
Staff will be scheduling the legislative visits.  You will receive a schedule, room assignments, and legislative advocacy packet when you check in.  

**For those participating in Press Conference and Legislative Visits only:**
Beginning at 8:30am: Check-in at the Sandbox (1121 L Street, Suite 205) for materials and visit schedules
9:30am-4:00pm: Legislative Visits
10:00am: Press Conference at the West Steps  of the Capitol under the tent. Confirmed speakers:
  • Senator Connie Leyva (Chair of the Legislative Women's Caucus)
  • Assemblymember Autumn Burke 
  • Conway Collis from GRACE & End Child Poverty in CA
  • Ted Lempert from Children Now
  • Shanti Prasad, Alameda County Community Food Bank

  • Parent leader from Parent Voices
11:30am-1:00pm: Lunch will be available (West Steps of the Capitol under the tent)

**For those attending the Budget Training:** 
9:30am:  Check in at the California Endowment- 1414 K Street, Suite 500, Sacramento, CA 95814
9:45am-10:00am: Welcome and opening remarks
Overview of the Governor's Proposed 2020/21 Budget; What has the Governor proposed and where are our opportunities? 
  • Kristin Schumacher, California Budget and Policy Center
  • Sara Cortez, Legislative Analyst's Office 
  • Sarah Burtner, Department of Finance 
  • Christian Griffith, Assembly Budget Committee
  • Stephen Propheter, California Department of Education, Early Learning and Care Division
Legislative "Prep-talk" and lunch
This presentation will include an orientation about the legislative process and how to conduct visits with your representatives.
  • What is advocacy and why is it important
  • Finding your legislators
  • How to talk to legislators
  • How to share your story in an impactful way
12:15pm: Walk over to the Capitol for legislative visits
1:00pm-4:00pm: Legislative Visits

 Interested in Supporting this Event?    Learn more about sponsorship here.

Work is beginning to put materials together for this event.  If you would like to become a partner,  send your email and logo here.

2020-21 California State Budget
2020-21 Proposed January Budget Released

On Friday, Governor Newsom released his $222.2 billion 2020-21 Budget Proposal.   This is 11th year of recovery since the recession or as investors have noted "economic expansion."  General Fund (GF) revenues are up over $5.8 billion for allocation to new investments and reserves (NOTE:  LAO projected a nearly $7 billion surplus in November).  The projected reserve amount at the end of the Fiscal Year (FY) is $21 billion.  In the 2019-20 budget a majority of funding was captured as one-time and not ongoing.  This appears to be the case too for the 2020-21 budget.

Looking at this proposal from the lens of supporting a family-centered and child-centered agenda, an agenda where families and children living in poverty and disconnected from the needed supports to lift them up are addressed, this is a welcoming start.  A few highlights from the 2020-21 proposal:
Child Care & Early Learning
  • Creates a new Department of Early Childhood Development at the Health and Human Services Agency ($8.5 million)
  • Funds  $127 million for 10,000 additional full day/full year preschool slots
  • Provides $10.3 million from Cannabis Fund for 621 General Child Care slots.
  • Provides $10 million one-time GF for the development of an adverse childhood experiences cross-sector training program.
  • Includes provisional language to allow unspent kindergarten facility funding form 2019-20 to be used by local districts to expand preschool in 2020-21. It is expected that about $300 million of last year's $400 million appropriation is still available for this purpose.
  • Provides $75 million to continue funding for inclusive early care and education program expansion.

  • Other
  • Doubles the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) by investing $1 billion in a new expanded EITC (up from $400 million). The expansion includes help for low-income families with young children by providing an additional $1,000 annually to address the costs of raising young children. This expansion will provide one million more economically distressed households with financial support to help with the costs of food, rent, and child care-bringing the total number of eligible households to three million.
  • Creates the California Access to Housing and Services Fund in the Department of Social Services (DSS) to (a) pay rent for individuals facing homelessness, (b) support regions to bring on more dwelling units, and (c) to help stabilize board and care facilities/homes.
  • Reflects a 3.1-percent increase to CalWORKs Maximum Aid Payment levels, effective October 1, 2020, which is estimated to cost $73.6 million in 2020-21 and $98.1 million in 2021-22.
  • Includes $20 million for existing Emergency Food Assistance Programs providers and food banks
  • Authorizes $500 million for the state's housing tax credit program
  • Caps annual renter housing increases allowing for protections that are discriminatory and retaliatory without cause
  • Creates competition in the generic drug market aimed at driving costs down for all.
  • Expands full-scope Medi-Cal coverage to low-income undocumented California's aged 65 and above
  • Builds on Medi-Cal Healthier California for All with structural changes and wraparound services including housing and social services
  • Safe Drinking Water - $360 million to provide grants and loans to disadvantaged communities to improve access to safe drinking water

  • The release of the 2020-21 proposal is a good start for conversations, but for struggling working families and children that need access to child care in order to lift themselves up from poverty and break cycle of poverty, there are better more strategic investments that must be made.   While our economy has grown and strengthened, over 2.2 million income eligible children have been left behind with no access to any care.  Of the over 2.2 million in need, there are fewer than 59,000 child care slots for our poorest of working families to access for their babies while they try to secure and maintain employment.  

    Poverty in California is not a linear issue.  To make meaningful investments in the lives of these families and children, we need to invest in the core infrastructures  of child care, housing, food, transportation and health care that intertwine to lift families up.  

    Finally, creating a department that focuses on early childhood is visionary.  However, to truly be impactful and meaningful then it too must also take oversight of all of the programs that interface and impact the lives of the most vulnerable children.  If the focus of the new department is solely to look at the "early care and educational" aspect of a child's life, then keep all of the programs under the California Department of Education.  That way there is some coordination of the child care and early learning programs with the preschool, transitional kindergarten and our K-12 system.

    • SEN Budget & Fiscal Review - January 23, 2020 @ 10:00 am - Overview of the Governor's 2020-21 Proposed Budget
    NOTE:  All 2020-21 Budget relative hearings, reports and materials will be hosted here.
    What's Happening

    This past week, legislators have begun to introduce legislation for the final year of this 2019-2020 legislative session. Bills will be introduced every day up until the February 21 deadline.

    In the CAPPA Monday Morning Update, will be a tracking of legislation relevant to our field.  We too will also host all of the legislation for this session here along with factsheets and sample letters.  If there is a piece of legislation that you would like to have noted for our field, please email.
    Dates and committee hearings to be aware:
    • Monday, January 13: ASM Third Reading File
    • Monday, January 13: SEN Human Services (Hurtado, Chair) @ 3pm - Rm 2040
    • Wednesday, January 15: ASM Housing & Development (Chiu, Chair) @ 9:15am - Rm 126
    • Wednesday, January 22: SEN Budget Sub-Committee on Health & Human Services @ 9am - Rm 4203
      • Informational hearing - Update On Rate Study and Reform In Developmental Services Systems
    • Thursday, January 23: SEN Budget & Fiscal Review (Mitchell, Chair) 10am - Rm 4203
      • Informational Hearing - Overview of the Governor's 2020-21 Proposed Budget
    • Wednesday, January 29: Joint Legislative Audit (Salas, Chair) @ 10am - Rm 444
      • Oversight Hearing - K-12 Local Control Funding: The State's Approach Has Not Ensured That Significant Funding Is Benefiting Students as Intended to Close Achievement Gaps (Report Number 2019-101)
    Click here to see calendar of field events/interests and legislative hearings and deadlines.  If you would like something added to the field calendar, click here and submit details.
    2019-20 Federal Budget Update
    Congress and the White House have officially approved federal funding for the remainder of FY2020, reaching a bipartisan agreement that provides more than $1 billion in increased funding for federal early childhood programs, including:
    • $5.826 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) - a $550 million increase from FY2019;
    • $10.613 billion for Head Start/Early Head Start - a $550 million increase from FY2019; and
    • $275 million for Preschool Development Grants - a $25 million increase from FY2019.
    In response, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) Executive Director Dr. Lynette M. Fraga released the following statement:

    "Children and families will benefit from more than $1 billion in new federal funding in FY2020 that supports safe, high-quality child care and early learning programs. This investment represents a step forward toward the much larger infusion of support the child care system  needs. Child Care Aware® of America applauds Congress and the White House for continuing to show their support for federal child care and early learning programs.

    Link to full statement.
    Profiled Legislator of the Week!
    Senator Melissa HURTADO

    Fresno senator appoints California's first Hmong chief of staff at the state Capitol

    A California state senator has appointed the first Hmong chief of staff at the Capitol.
    Shery Yang, a first-generation American, has joined the office of state  Sen. Melissa Hurtado, who represents the 14th Senate District covering cities in Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties. According to a news release, Yang will be in charge of directing, coordinating and supervising operations of the senator's office, both daily and long term.

    Fresno, Tulare and Kern are among the counties with  higher poverty rates across California. W ith nearly 25,000 residents,  Fresno is home to the nation's second-largest Hmong population, trailing only the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

    Yang said her appointment shows that Hurtado, D-Sanger, wants to give a voice to underrepresented communities. 
    "That's why joining Sen. Hurtado's team as the first Hmong chief of staff in the State Capitol is not only an opportunity to provide a fresh perspective but also to demonstrate that further diverse representation is needed in California," Yang said.

    Hurtado noted the frequently overlooked yet ongoing needs of the communities in her district of nearly 1 million residents.  "The challenges we face and the solutions we need often don't align with the rest of California - making us a very unique region," she said.

    Link to full article.
    CDE Information & Updates
    Individualized County Child Care Subsidy Plan Webinar for Pilot Contractors and Pilot Local Planning Council Coordinators

    Executive Directors and Program Directors:
    The California Department of Education will host a webinar on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at 1:00 p.m., to provide information to pilot counties and contractors participating in the Individualized County Child Care Subsidy Program. The webinar will provide information about the pilot plan submission process and prepare counties for the upcoming February modification period.
    Topic: Webinar: Individualized County Child Care Subsidy Plan Submissions
    Date: & Time: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 1:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time
    Event number: 665 256 965
    Event password: 176640
    Information to Agencies Regarding the Passing of Assembly Bill 5

    Attention: ELCD Contracting Agencies   
    The ELCD has received concerns regarding the recent passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 5, which codifies the legal test to be used to determine which professions in California can be designated as employees versus independent contractors for purposes of the Labor Code, the Unemployment Insurance Code, and the IWC wage orders, and how this new law will impact agencies working with subsidized childcare programs. 
    It is the CDE's position that licensed family child care providers and license-exempt providers working in subsidized childcare programs are not employees of the state or any agency that provides reimbursement to the provider, whether reimbursement is through a family child care education network or an alternative payment program, and AB 5 did not change that. 
    The recent passage of AB 378, which established collective bargaining rights for family child care providers, amended the Education Code (EC) to include language that addresses this concern. The EC Section 8432.5 specifically provides:

    EC 8432.5  Family childcare providers are not public employees, and this article does not create an employer-employee relationship between family childcare providers and the state, any agency or department of the state, any political subdivision of the state, or a contractor or subcontractor administering a state-funded early care and education program, for any purpose, including, but not limited to, eligibility for health or retirement benefits, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, liability under the Labor Code or state wage orders, or vicarious liability in tort. This article does not alter the status of a family childcare provider as a business owner, an employee of a family, or a contractor.
    If you have questions regarding the information in this email, please contact your assigned regional Consultant on the ELCD Consultants Regional Assignments web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/assignments.asp or by phone at 916-322-6233.
    2020 Election Information
    Information on Upcoming Initiatives

    March 3, 2020 Statewide Ballot Measures
    November 3, 2020 Statewide Ballot Measures 
    Link to initiative page.

    November 2020 Eligible Statewide Ballot Measures 
    • 1840. (17-0044, Amdt.#1) - Restricts Parole for Non-Violent Offenders. Authorizes Felony Sentences for Certain Offenses Currently Treated Only as Misdemeanors. Initiative Statute.)
    • 1851. (17-0055, Amdt.#1) - Requires Certain Commercial and Industrial Real Property to be Taxed Based on Fair-Market Value. Dedicates Portion of Any Increased Revenue to Education and Local Services. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. 
    Link to initiative page.

    Upcoming Senate, Assembly, and Presidential Elections:

    Partner Updates
    Emergency Child Care For Sacramento Foster Families

    To recruit more loving families for children in foster care, Sacramento County is making it easier to find and afford childcare services for resource families. The Emergency Child Care Bridge Program's goal is to increase the number of resource families for children in foster care by helping families find the right child care provider, connecting families to long-term child care subsidies, and by providing vouchers to pay for childcare for up to six months. The vouchers help ensure that a resource family has adequate support to balance work and home lives along with providing a smoother transition when welcoming a child into the home. 

    "There are new and exciting things coming to the Bridge Program in 2020," said Gloria Bedford, Human Services Program Planner. "The program is receiving an additional $750,000 from the California Department of Social Services that will go directly to child care vouchers to help more resource parents pay for daycare and help to stabilize foster placements more quickly."From its inception in May 2018 through October 2019, the program in Sacramento County served 190 families who were fostering 264 children and issued $1,165,230 in vouchers to resource families.

    Link to full article.
    Early Childcare Providers Are Spending Their Own Money To Take Care Of LA's Kids

    Finding affordable child care in Los Angeles is often a struggle, but parents aren't the only ones dealing with the financial burden.  Child-care providers lay out money for everything from rent, to utilities, to buying meals and snacks, to paying employees and other expenses. After all of that, their net pay can amount to minimum wage or less.

    The burden is especially heavy for small-scale operators like Silvia Jordan, who cares for six children in her Eagle Rock home. Her typical 12-hour day includes not just looking after the kids, but spending time filling out forms to receive meager state reimbursements for caring for low-income children - which sometimes don't come fast enough for her to stay ahead of her bills.

    "We're not working for money because there is no money," Jordan said. "We're working for the passion we have for the kids."  A November 2019 analysis of L.A. County's early childcare and education system commissioned by the county  Office of Child Protection  explored how providers of all sizes - from small-scale operators like Jordan to facilities with multimillion-dollar budgets that serve hundreds of children - knit together nearly a dozen sources of public funding to provide care.

    Link to full article.
    Big promises for little kids: Has California governor delivered on  early education?

    Once he took office in January 2019, Newsom moved forward significantly on many of his  big early education campaign promises. With the help of the Legislature, he expanded family leave from six weeks to eight weeks, with a promise to extend it further later this year. He increased home nurse visits for infants and toddlers and medical screenings to catch developmental delays and trauma early. He invested in grants to build more child care centers and help train more early childhood educators.

    The 2019-20 budget will allow about  31,600 more low-income children to enroll in state-subsidized child care centers and preschools. And as of Jan. 1, all 4-year-olds living in low-income neighborhoods are eligible to attend state-subsidized preschool, regardless of their own family's incomes, an effort that attempts to reach children from middle-income families who make too much money to qualify for subsidized preschool but cannot afford a private preschool.

    Link to full article.
    National News
    'Even two paychecks can only go so far.' How skyrocketing child-care costs put aspiring home buyers in a bind

    Soaring child-care costs over the past quarter century have rendered families less able to rent or buy homes, argues  a "Insight" report released this week by the government-sponsored mortgage finance company.

    The inflation-adjusted cost of child care rose by 49% between 1993 and 2018, while the cost of housing rose by 14% over the same period, the report found, citing Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Education expenses, which increased by 90%, were the only category of family budget items that increased at a higher rate during that 25-year period.

    Families spent a monthly average of $715 on child care in 2019 dollars, by Freddie Mac's estimate - in other words, about 46% of 2018's national median mortgage payment ($1,566) and close to 80% of 2018's national median rent ($899).

    Link to full article.

    Do companies really suffer by offering paid parental leave? These economists believe they've found an answer

    "Overall, we find little support for the claim that parental leave is detrimental for coworkers or firms," economists wrote in a  working paper released Monday that looked at companies in Denmark, a country that's  long had policies mandating time off for new parents.

    The study was a joint project between Anne A. Brenøe, an economics professor at University of Zurich, Nikolaj A. Harmon from the University of Copenhagen, Serena P. Canaan American University of Beirut, and Heather N. Royer from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Link to  full article .
    California ranks the least affordable for center-based infant care in study released by Child Care Aware of America

    Child Care Aware of America recently released its 13th annual "The U.S. and The High Price of Child Care: An Examination of a Broken System" which found that child care is unaffordable in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. For 30 years, Child Care Aware of America has been the leading voice for quality, affordable child care in the United States. Of note, Child Care Aware of America's findings showed that across all states, the price  of center-based infant care exceeds 27% of median household income for single working parents - these impacts were exacerbated for parents and families of color.

    Child Care Aware of America also found that child care remains one of the highest household expenses, especially in the Northeast and West, often exceeding $20,000 per year in those regions, competing closely with rising housing prices. The federal poverty level for a family of three in the continental United States was $20,780 last year.

    In California, the annual price of center-based infant care is $16,452. Median income for a single parent is $29,198 in California; meaning that infant child care in a center will cost 56.3% of median income. In two-parent families, where median income is $93,850, child care prices for an infant in center-based care are 17.6% of median income. Average annual child care prices for a toddler - California ranked 20th least affordable - and for a 4-year old - California ranked sixth least affordable - is $11,202. To put that into perspective, the average public college in California is $9,870 annually for tuition and fees.

    Link to full article.
    Interesting Reads
    los angeles times
    For students with kids, college can be a 
    lonely  struggle. One program aims to help

    Daisy Garcia's small Van Nuys apartment doesn't offer much space for her 9-month old daughter to crawl. So this 27-year-old college student brings her little one to a children's play area at Los Angeles Valley College.

    Here, under the watchful eyes of child educators and caretakers, is where the baby girl lifts herself up to stand next to a shelf, wobbles and plops back down on her bottom, legs landing in a "W" position.  'W' is bad for their backs," Pam Fischer, a student worker, told Garcia. "So when you see 'W,' reposition her."

    The play area is one of the services offered at Valley College's Family Resource Center, among a handful of such community college programs nationwide designed to assist student parents with what educators say are critically important but largely invisible needs.

    Link to full article.
    Follow the money: Are changes coming for California's school funding law?

    Assembly Bills  1834 and  1835, introduced this week, mark the latest effort by lawmakers to bolster transparency under the so-called Local Control Funding Formula, the landmark 2013 law that overhauled how the state funds public schools. 

    The bills by Democratic Assemblywomen Shirley Weber of San Diego and Sharon Quirk-Silva of Fullerton focus on the formula's central tenet - that more money should go to students who face higher hurdles. And they take up the  central complaint of the November audit: that it's too hard to tell whether especially challenged districts are spending their money the way they're supposed to.

    Link to full article.
    Report: California among least affordable states to raise a family

    A new  WalletHub report found that California is among the least affordable states in the country to raise a family.  Among the 50 states, California ranked last for housing affordability, 47th for median family salary (adjusted for cost of living) and 42nd for child care cost.

    The Golden State may not be so golden for a decent percentage of families as it also ranked 29th for percentage of families in poverty.  But it's not all bad news, California also ranked 12th for families with young kids and 11th for its separation and divorce rate.

    Link to full article.