As part of the California State Budget Act of 2021-22, California’s Governor and Legislature established a Rate and Quality Reform workgroup tasked with working with the California Department of Social Services to recommend 1) a single early childhood care and learning reimbursement rate system, and 2) ECE quality and workforce competencies that would align with the new rate structure.
This Rate and Quality Workgroup, which included early learning and care providers, alternative payment providers, child care experts, families, and state agency representatives, issued its report on August 15, 2022. Early childhood care and learning advocates are urging Governor Newsom to prioritize the report recommendations in the 2023-24 State Budget that the Governor will announce in early January.
The August report highlighted four key recommendations:
Ensure that equity is foundational to all changes to California’s early childhood care and learning system.
Replace the current method that uses market price surveys to set rates for compensating early learning programs with a method based on the true cost of providing care and learning.
Create a single rate structure that specifies base rates and that is designed to address historical inequities. This structure should calculate base rates for Family, Friend, and Neighbor care and Home-based and Center-based early learning and care according to the cost of providing care and education that meets state standards.
Continuously evaluate the rate-setting methodology to address equity and to adjust for changing conditions and rising costs.
A Focus on Funding for Early Childhood Care and Learning Providers
The Rate and Quality Workgroup noted that broader changes would be needed to support a new rate-setting system that supports positive outcomes for children, families and educators. The workgroup report noted that the well-being of families and educators is key to the well-being of children, and that uplifting outcomes for families and educators is a key strategy for supporting the positive learning and development of children.
For More Details…
The Rate and Quality Workgroup met more than a dozen times between January and August 2022 and incorporated input from a large, diverse group of stakeholders. You can find the final report (in English, Spanish, and Chinese) as well as recordings of the workgroup’s webinar meetings on the California Department of Social Services website.
You can help move these vital reforms forward by letting Governor Newsom know that early childhood care and learning providers need higher compensation rates now! Good2Know Network makes it easy to voice your opinion in just one minute—simply click here to fill out a very brief form and hit Send Now.