"Children Learning, Parents Earning, Communities Growing"
May 9, 2022 | Issue #19
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Countdown to Needless Pain and Suffering for Struggling Parents and Providers

As of this writing, Governor Newsom's silence indicates that after June 30, 2022 the poorest income eligible families that rely on subsidized child care to keep their families afloat are facing the real possibility of their children being disenrolled from stable child care. Further, family child care homes and center providers that have chosen this vocation are being forced into the untenable position of either continuing to hold a spot for these children. However, it will come with no guarantee of payment from the state for serving subsidized families.

Why? Because of plain old politics.

During the pandemic, California's Governor recognized that in order for families to be successful with either finding or maintaining a job, stable child care was critical. The Governor was even so bold to note child care workers as essential. When the cameras were rolling the governor emphasized that child care providers are critical to the economy. In July of 2021, Governor Newsom noted "...to raise a consciousness around the essential nature of our care economy broadly defined but particularly child care workers..." he sang their praises.

And now?

Since the cameras have gone away on this issue, so has Governor Newsom's consciousness to not only doing what is right by the very poorest families, but of doing what makes solid business sense. That is paying child care providers for holding a slot for a subsidized family a guaranteed amount just like families commit in the private pay market. Instead, Governor Newsom wants child care providers to eat the cost of serving a subsidized family that might work in the fields and the weather makes it impossible for them to report to work. He wants single moms with unstable jobs to be treated as second class citizens by providing a child care voucher to find child care but the voucher comes with no guarantee of payment for services to the provider that accepts the voucher.

Layered onto this is the Governor being okay with pitting a single mom with a stable job and subsidized child care against a single mom that does not have a stable job but whose children deserve the same access to stable child care. Governor Newsom's silence says that clearly there are poor families amongst us that deserve to not have access and equitable child care options for their babies.

If the June 30 date is allowed to sunset, tens of thousands of struggling subsidized families will face the real possibility of having their children thrown out of care. And not because child care providers want to. As small businesses with ongoing costs for rent, staff and operating expenses, providers cannot take on such financial risk.

Governor Newsom has not been open to hearing from working parents, child care providers or community partners pleading to permanently enact a policy that is good for children, families and providers. Thankfully, joining us in fighting for this policy are also many from the business community that too must have workers with access to stable funded child care including the California Chamber of Commerce, California Retailers Association, California Grocers Association, National Federation of Independent Business and the California and the California Hotel and Lodging Association. The business community clearly sees the link between accessible stable child care and a stable workforce of employees.

It is not right for Governor Newsom to allow a policy to sunset that will result in tens of thousands of babies and children locked out of being cared for in licensed high-quality family child care homes and centers. The needs of our most fragile of working families ought not to be ignored because our Governor doesn't think their needs matter.

Governor Newsom, the needs of our poorest babies, children and families deserve to be treated fairly, equitably and with dignity. It is simply not right that in the greatest state in this nation it is okay to cast their needs aside.

Governor Newsom, do the right, honorable and economically responsible action of eliminating the June 30 deadline. Do not let the ax fall on these children.