We want to bring to your attention two reports recently released addressing the importance of investments in early care and education. The California Budget & Policy Center analysis addresses the policies needed to go along with the local and now state-wide minimum wage increases. The Right Start Commission Report, Rebuilding the American Dream, assesses the current landscape, and proposes short- and long-term services needed to support children and their families from birth to five. See links to these reports, as well as KQED’s Forum discussion with Right Start commissioners.
We’ve also kept the Child Care Law Center’s analysis and recommendation on minimum wages and the Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis done for the Office Early Care and Education. If you haven’t had a chance yet, take a moment to read.
Minimum Wage & Child Care
The California Budget and Policy Center writes:
“This year … an additional factor is in play: the decision by Governor Brown and lawmakers to incrementally increase the state minimum wage from $10 to $15 per hour in the coming years. This change will benefit millions of Californians, including child care workers, who on a national level are among the lowest-paid workers. At the same time, raising California’s wage floor will have implications for ECE providers’ cost of doing business as well as for working families’ ability to access subsidized services as their incomes go up. These dynamics reinforce the case for boosting state support for child care and development programs in order to better meet the needs of working parents and their children – and the state as a whole – in the years ahead.”
Analysis and Recommendations Regarding the Impact of Minimum Wages on Child Care
“A High Cost For Low-Income Parents Is Still A Low Wage For Child Care Providers”
“Child care comprises an enormous portion of even middle income families’ budgets. Among families with a school age and a preschool age child, child care costs exceed rent in 81% of communities, nationwide, ranging from about half rental costs in San Francisco, to nearly three times rent in Binghamton, New York. In California, infant care costs one-third more than the cost of full- time, in-state public college tuition-unlike college, young parents have no time to save for it.
“If the major cost of child care is labor, and the cost cannot be spread across families by accepting more children, then child care providers cannot increase pay for themselves or, where applicable, their employees, without increasing the rates they charge to parents. This presents a conundrum for the many child care providers who earn less than minimum wage, serving parents who themselves earn at or near minimum wage.”
Read the Child Care Law Center’s full analysis and recommendations here.
Right Start Commission Report
Rebuilding the California Dream The Right Start Commission’s blueprint for a child-centered system that nurtures every child from the beginning of life
From the Executive Summary:
“Common Sense Kids Action convened the Right Start Commission based on the fundamental principle that every California child deserves the right start. High-quality early learning and care, supportive family environments, and preventive health care are essential to ensuring every child has the opportunity to thrive in school and in life.
“The goal of this commission has been to find a better way of providing essential care and early learning opportunities for all California children and to identify ways to bring those ideas to fruition. What follows is an assessment of the current child-services landscape and a sketch for the short- and medium-term future that members of the commission and Common Sense Kids Action will be working toward in the months and years ahead.”
Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis for OECE
From the CFA introduction:
“The San Francisco Office of Early Care and Education (OECE), in collaboration with its early childhood partners, engaged in a comprehensive fiscal analysis (CFA) from September 2015 to February 2016. This report summarizes the information gathered through the CFA process and is intended to inform a citywide early care and education planning and evaluation process. The goals of the CFA were to determine (1) what funding currently supports early care and education services in San Francisco, (2) how these funds are used, and (3) what opportunities exist to draw down additional funding and/or to use funds more effectively.”
Read the full report here.