Torres Leads California Congressional Delegation Members in Calling on State Leadership to Expand and Improve Child Care
In California, the Child Care and Development Block Grant program serves fewer than 14 percent of income eligible children, with an estimated 1.2 million children going unserved and 400,000 eligible children on child care waitlists
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Norma J. Torres (CA-35) led members of the California congressional delegation in a letter to Governor Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and the California Legislative Women’s Caucus to encourage the use of additional Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funds to expand child care assistance in the state.
“As you well know, child care remains one of the highest costs for working families, resulting in millions of parents forced to choose between economic security and quality care for their children,” the federal lawmakers wrote. “We know you would agree with us that we can and must do more for California’s working families. With this tremendous need for expanded child care services, the allocation of new CCDBG funds must prioritize serving a greater pool of children.”
In addition to Torres, the letter was signed by Reps. Mark Takano (CA-41), Lou Correa (CA-46), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Cárdenas (CA-29), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Scott Peters (CA-52), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Pete Aguilar (CA-31), John Garamendi (CA-3), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ro Khanna (CA-17), and Raul Ruiz (CA-36).
Torres is a member of the powerful Rules Committee and Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Budget Task Force.
The full text of the letter is available below.
As strong supporters of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program, we write to you to emphasize the importance of utilizing additional CCDBG funds to expand child care assistance, and therefore serve more children.
Under your leadership, California has invested towards rebuilding the ECE and child care programs throughout the state by increasing provider reimbursement rates, enhancing quality improvement activities and expanding family income eligibility. We are excited to continue your great work by utilizing these additional CCDBG funds to expand child access and improve provider quality.
As you well know, child care remains one of the highest costs for working families, resulting in millions of parents forced to choose between economic security and quality care for their children. To combat the growing need for child care assistance, Congress passed a FY 2018 omnibus spending bill with the single largest increase in federal funding for the CCDBG program, adding $2.4 billion in discretionary funds.
Since the financial crisis in 2007, Congress has failed to sufficiently fund child care and development programs, instigating a drastic decline in access to affordable child care. CCDBG specifically, has continued to be funded at below pre-recession levels, resulting in the smallest number of children served in the program’s history.
In California alone – despite the state’s ability to match CCDBG funding – the program serves fewer than 14% of income eligible children, with an estimated 1.2 million eligible children not being served. Additionally, California child care waitlists contain over 400,000 eligible children.
We know you would agree with us that we can and must do more for California’s working families. With this tremendous need for expanded child care services, the allocation of new CCDBG funds must prioritize serving a greater pool of children.
We hope you will join us in upholding CCDBG’s mission and guaranteeing that CCDBG is effectively implemented.