Opinion: Brown’s budget ideas decimate child care


By Linda Asato

On Jan. 6, 2012, Gov. Brown released his 2012-13 budget proposing severe changes and devastating budget cuts to the systems that support low-income children and families. These proposed cuts destroy the pathway to success for children and families and dismantles decades of investment in California’s long-established system of child-care services that support the dual goals of helping parents earn and children learn.

Child care is a critical support ensuring parents can participate in the paid workforce. High quality and reliable child care is the only way a parent can go to work and offers multiple benefits for employers. Quality early care also offers substantial benefits to children during their earliest years which narrows the achievement gap, increases high school graduation rates, and reduces crime and delinquency.

We are outraged that the governor’s proposed $516.8 million budget cut to child care, which he wants adopted by March, would eliminate 62,000 child care slots. This is on top of $883 million child-care reductions, equivalent to 114,762 child-care spaces, lost since 2008.

This level of assault delivers a damaging blow to families that are struggling to improve their lives. The proposed March 2012 adoption/implementation date is unreasonable, unnecessarily forcing families into crisis, without adequate transition time. His proposed changes significantly limit parental choice for low-income parents and their ability to choose quality care for their children.

Long term, his proposal begins to dismantle the backbone of our stable child-care system by eliminating contracts for our highest quality child development centers and reducing the reimbursement rates to an unrealistic level of operation. These small businesses and nonprofit centers will close their doors, stalling economic recovery especially in low-income communities.

The governor’s proposal to move the administration of child care (except part-day preschool) out of the Department of Education’s Child Development Division and transfer it to the Department of Social Services doesn’t acknowledge the critical role education plays in the child-care setting.

While we value the important role the California Department of Social Services plays in licensing child-care facilities and conducting background checks for all categories of child-care providers, we highly value the California Department of Education’s mission to educate all students from early childhood to adulthood.

The Network strongly believes child care is a dual investment that supports children and low-income parents. In order to maintain this dual investment in California’s families, administration of child care must remain with the California Department of Education.

CDE was recently awarded a $52.6 million federal Early Learning Challenge Fund grant to develop a quality rating system to inform parents and policymakers of program ratings. Destroying the child-care supply and dislodging it from the CDE goes counter to the purpose of this federal investment.

Overall, these cuts destroy the dreams of thousands of low-income families who yearn for economic self-sufficiency. These cause irreparable damage to the quality of care that is currently available to all families.

The Network will work with our partners to inform legislative leaders and the governor of the harm this budget and corresponding policy changes will inflict on families, providers, and our fragile economy. California cannot afford the devastating impact that will be caused by the proposed budget cuts and administrative changes to our recovering economy and to our long-term economic prosperity.

Please contact Choices for Children to share your voice and join local advocacy efforts at (530) 541.5848 or online.

Linda Asato is executive director of California Child Care Resource and Referral Network.



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Comments (27)
  1. Tim says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    Here we go again. Every time someone tries to cut the budget a all the defenders of whose ox is getting a haircut pop up and talk about what horrible things will occur is the budget goes through. We only have so much money. You can’t tax people until they move out of the state. We have to live within our means.

  2. earl zitts says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    Why is the taxpayer burdened with all the expenses of birthing illegal aliens
    and then paying to raise their children.
    All 75,000 or more born each year in CA.
    Is our society psychotic? Is Brown a
    tr—or to American citizens?

  3. thimesnv says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    Why parents entrust the education of their kids, let alone the childcare services, is beyond my comprehension. I promise my wife and I will not bear children until we can afford to support them 100% without government subsidy or program.

  4. thimesnv says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    Sorry, meant to add “to the government” in my statement. The only thing the government does well is our national defense — and maybe a little too well.

    My mother paid for private school for me & my sister. We were not rich, barely even middle class. We were so poor, they bought clothes & shoes for us once a year (maybe). And there was never any government handout. Looking back, I didn’t feel poor until I got my driver’s license and a job. Then I decided I wanted more from life.

    I can’t understand why families are content living off the government’s payroll.

  5. Raina Silva says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    I have been in the ECE field for over a decade. Let’s start there. I have worked in both an almost fully subsidized program and a private pay center. I wish more parents were able to stay home with their children, I wish that there were more co ops, I wish that the cost of running a quality center wasn’t so high. Sadly, this isn’t the case. Most centers these days operate a preschool/pre k program and an investment in preschool can pay off for years to come and help steer us off the path to idiocracy. Parents can pay over $200 per week for childcare. How can we say to Susie Singleparent “Get a job” if she can’t afford childcare? subsided

  6. Raina Silva says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    Sorry, trying to type on my phone. Subsidized childcare helps people work. Working people simulate the economy. Don’t cut childcare, cut welfare.

  7. orale says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    Nicely said Ms. Silva.

    Its a matter of priorities.

  8. Joe Stirumup says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    Another example of how liberal democrats are more conserned with the ‘Priviledged’ government union employees and their votes then they are with the children and the regular Joe tax payers public.

    Shameful lot you are!

    Wake up people. The dems are destroying you.

  9. santorum says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    Oh Joe I agree! I am So just like you as always. That article shows just how much we should Hate gubmint and Love the 1% job creating American hero uber-rich. If we just sacrifice a little bit more of our middle-class gains they will be able to trickle-down enormous benefits Very, Very soon to people that are exactly like Me and You!

  10. dogwoman says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    Santorum, your posts are becoming tedious. You add nothing of value to the conversation.
    The way of the left has done nothing but create generational dependence on government programs and a culture of victimhood. As has been said many times before, a hand up is one thing. But 50 years of handouts needs to be turned around.
    What gives anyone the right to demand (demand!) that someone else pay their way through life?

  11. santorum says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    Welll, Excuuuse Me for interrupting your vacuous foxNfriends gabfest… and tedious?.. that would be the endless regurgitated drone of hate you have for anyone and anything that wingnut, corp. sponsored media tells you is stopping you from being a successful and happy person.

  12. dogwoman says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    Hate? No hate on my side.
    As far as anything stopping me from being a successful and happy person, well, that’s the point of my post. I AM a successful, happy person. All the victims who believe that it is my duty to make THEM successful and happy with MY taxes are the ones whose expectations will never be met by “social justice.”

  13. Michelle Sower says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    In a perfect world, parents wouldn’t need child care and we could all stay home with our children teaching them life long skills like sharing cooperation, empathy, and respect. We could get them ready for kindergarten by making sure they know their A,B,C’s and 1, 2, 3’s. We would ensure that they are well-fed and clothed and that they have a safe place to lay their head at night. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world. Parents have to work to make a living and sometimes parents are thrown into situations beyond their control-the death of a spouse and parent, the loss of a job, the abandonment of a marriage and a child. If child care is not available, parents can’t work or go back to school. They can’t better themselves and in the process better their children’s lives. I have run a quality program here on the South shore for 18 years-many of the people who received child care subsidies from the government while continuing their education now teach your children, take care of you at the hospital, or protect and serve as Police officers and Fire Fighters in our community. These people are not lazy, good for nothing people who are just laying around collecting money. They are simply people; people who may have found themselves in hard situations and fortunately had people, places and programs available to help them out.

  14. Joe Stirumup says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    I don’t understand why the editor allows the hate and vitriol from the santurum poster. It attacks people for their possitions instad of countering with reasoned and adult arguments.

    What’s up with that?

    Dogwoman sounds like a reasoned and considerate person and I know many people apreciate her input.

  15. the conservation robot says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    People who are less educated are easier to control. It is easier to fool them. Pardon the conspiracy theory. I don’t think the cuts to education, applauded by conservatives, are only about money and budgets. It goes along with their anti-intellectual and anti-science crusade. Throughout history the power classes have been able to stay on top by keeping people uneducated.
    Have you read the blatant lies in their answer to wikipedia? They are more likely to reference over journals on evolutionary biology. They applaud ignorance.
    Educated people are a resource to any society, it is an investment. And they want to decrease basic education? Bad idea.

  16. dogwoman says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    Straw man

  17. Joe Stirumup says - Posted: January 25, 2012

    The California and Nevada education systems are ranked at the bottom of all the states.

    Check for yourselves.

    California is and has been run by liberals. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who is dumbing down who.

    Vouchers would have helped if inacted years back but now it is likely to late.

    Your toast. Get use to it.

  18. the conservation robot says - Posted: January 26, 2012

    It was a conspiracy theory rant, which I owned up to at the beginning… but it is based on real people and real events.
    Uneducated people are desirable.
    And California’s investment in higher education has paid off, the ROI is overwhelmingly positive for the entire economy.
    By the way rankings for science and math puts CA at 34 and Nevada at 44. Not exactly ‘the bottom’ for the ‘liberal’ state of CA. And I never thought NV was a ‘liberal’ state, compared to CA. Nationally, UC is top tier in almost everything, students come to CA from all over the world to study here. Sure it is a different level of education, but the system is doing something right. How many overwhelmingly conservative states can say that? And look at the top ranked states for primary education: MA, MN, NJ, NH, NY. The bottom: MI, AL, LA, NM, WV. Those states have been conservative dominated (unsing your rankings).
    SO your argument that liberals are tanking the education system does not hold up to the converse.
    But you believe it. I am sure these facts will be disregarded by you and other conservatives. They usually are. Kind of proves my point.
    The overall ranking of the US keeps falling. Because we invest less. We are being left behind.
    Education is an investment, the returns are proven. Educated people are harder to control, which is a problem for some people.

  19. R.Silva says - Posted: January 26, 2012

    The fact that Nevada and California are the bottom of the barrel in education lands squarely on our shoulders and came from bureaucracy. When funding got tied to test performance teachers had to start teaching to the test and it resulted in skipping crucial steps. I have had at least 5 3rd grade students that didn’t have a grasp of basic reading skills because we spent those first 3 years teaching them to memorize 1000 words instead of teaching them to sound them out. We started the drill and kill math programs and missed the fact they don’t understand why 5×5 is 25. Worse than that, these children get pushed from grade to grade whether or not they are prepared for the next grade. Instead of teaching children to overcome disadvantages we just keep lowering the bar and handing out crutches, playing by the tee ball rules so everybody wins. I am not saying every teacher teaches this way, I am saying that this is a huge problem and we need to stand up and stop it. Now in preschool we have to prepare children for a flawed system. So I have to ensure that my kids leave with all the basic skills that used to be taught in Kindergarten so that they don’t get lost in the shuffle.

    Back to the point of the article, quality childcare is not the place to make cuts. Do you know why the newest generation of parents doesn’t say “ It takes a village”? Because there are no more villages. Quality care centers can help bring that back.

  20. Joe Stirumup says - Posted: January 26, 2012

    to the robot,

    I think anyone that considers 34 out of 50 to be a good thing is someone to be ignored.

    On top of that who did this ranking. You gave no sources.
    It was probably done by or for the CA education association a self serving organization with no cred in my mind.

    Check out the multiple ranking reports for youselves don’t let the biased ranters like the bot mislead you.

  21. PubworksTV says - Posted: January 26, 2012

    Across America people are waking up to the horrific state of our public education system.

    Rise up people and take back control from the government that is oppressing us!

    Start with the schools!

    Vouchers are the answer!

    Get rid of the socialists destroying the schools!


  22. santorum says - Posted: January 26, 2012

    Now that’s tellin’ ’em Joepubworks! Hating those darn gubmint school teachers and Loving those proven successful voucher thingies is SO 100% Me!

  23. the conservation robot says - Posted: January 26, 2012

    I think anyone that considers 34 out of 50 to be a good thing is someone to be ignored.

    I didn’t say it was good, I pointed out that it was not ‘at the bottom’.
    Someone who attributes ideas to me that I did not communicate, is someone to be ignored.

    I got the information from the 2010 SERI scores for math and science.
    That is just a blog entry that talks about the study, you can take the time to find it on your own. Facts don’t seem to matter to people so I won’t go out of my way.
    And no, it wasn’t done by the state of california.
    Another lie. Another assumption you make about me, that is dead wrong.
    Amazing how the the idea that liberal california is terrible doesn’t really hold up. And how the most conservative states actually fit the scenario. Does the statement ‘the most conservative states have the worst public education systems’ hold true? I don’t know.

  24. the conservation robot says - Posted: January 26, 2012

    And Joe…..
    You never provided any sources. But its a big deal that I didn’t.

  25. M. Rutherford says - Posted: January 26, 2012

    We all need to stand together support families, children and a civilized society. Dismantling care for low income working families will hurt ALL families except the very few who can afford quality on their own. And for many of those families, pulling the infrastructure of subsidized care out of the “system” will eliminate centers and small family child care businesses who care for the families who can afford it. Research is on the side of the investment in quality early care and ed. If America …and California, step away from prioritizing the earliest years we will fall behind all the economically strongest countries in educating our children.

  26. JoeStirumup says - Posted: January 26, 2012


    I encourage people to check details for themselves I quote ranges – Dude that is kind of intuitive – pay attention ok…

  27. Chief Slowroller says - Posted: January 26, 2012

    most of the parents in our town are Baked!

    so they are not able to teach the children, at an adequate level.

    that leaves the pre schools they do a good job with our children, and provide employment

    that makes it a win win situation.