Children’s Council President/CEO Reacts to Governor Newsom’s May 2023 Budget Revision

By Dr. Gina Fromer,
President/CEO of Children’s Council of San Francisco

Recently, Governor Newsom announced major revisions to the state’s budget. While we are pleased that the Governor continues to view child care as a foundational support in getting our state’s families back to work and to prepare our children for success in school and in life, with the state projecting a $32 billion budget shortfall, he also acknowledged that we have a lot of work to do.

It’s imperative that we remind the Governor and our State Representatives that they cannot balance the state budget on the backs of our state’s little ones!

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We need the Governor to provide immediate relief for our families and early educators through a long-term 25% increase to current child care rates. We must pay professional caregivers for the true cost of caring for our babies and toddlers. We can’t wait for some future date, early educators are facing real financial hardships today.

Child care is a core economic driver for our communities, and providers need to making a living wage now, if we want our early care and education ecosystem to recover from the devastation to our field during the pandemic.

We also need the Governor to make good on his promises from past years by allocating all 20,000 child care spaces scheduled to be released this coming year. Thousands of families need access to child care today. If the state allocates these funds by October 2023, there would not be a delay in enrolling new families.

We are pleased that “family fees” — the money that families who receive child care subsidies must pay out of pocket — have been waived through at least September 2023. But we need to work towards the goal of eliminating these fees altogether.

The family fee system originates from the idea that people live in poverty due to some fault or failing of their own. But it is 2023, and we know that it is simply not true. The systemic racism and classism that holds down people in poverty needs to change, and the elimination of family fees would go a long way towards empowering families’ true economic mobility. 

For decades, Children’s Council has been a strong advocate for critical legislation to strengthen our child care system. Now, we need your help making sure this budget allows every child in California to thrive.

Click here to tell the Governor and your State Representatives that the budget needs to support our children, families and early educators!

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