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CA’s New Budget Boosts Funding for Early Care & Learning Programs

Jul 22, 2021    |   California ECE News Updates

Last week the 2021-22 California Budget Trailer Bills, which implement budget funding, were adopted by both houses of the California legislature and were signed by Governor Newsom. These actions finalize the budget for the fiscal year that began on July 21st, 2021. There was a great deal of good news for early care and learning programs, including hundreds of millions of dollars invested in childcare access and reimbursement rate increases.

Here are some ECE budget highlights:

  • The Budget raises the Regional Market Rate (RMR) from the 75th percentile of the 2016 RMR survey to the 75th percentile of the 2018 RMR Survey, effective January 1, 2022.

  • Effective July 1, 2021, a 4.05% COLA (cost of living adjustment) will be applied to the Standard Reimbursement Rate (SRR).

  • More than 145,000 child care slots will be added over the next two years, with plans to increase that to 200,000 new slots by 2025-26.

  • The Budget includes a Child Care pandemic relief package of $579 million in federal funds to cover important provisions including family fee waivers; a tiered licensed provider one-time stipend; continued hold-harmless funding for certain child care providers that contract directly with the state; and one-time funding for early childhood mental health consultation.

A complete list of these early childhood investments can be found on page 79 of the 2021-22 state budget summary.

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