Public Policy and Advocacy

Join us in advocating for public policies that support early education, families, and children. If you would like to join our Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, or have questions about our advocacy work, please contact the Public Policy and Advocacy Chair, Hannah Thompson.

Please take a moment to read NAEYC's Statement on the Election: Moving Forward for Children.

Follow OCAEYC and #ocaeyc on social media for more public policy and advocacy updates! Find links to our social media platforms and read legislative updates below.

Current Legislation We are Following

Click on each title for more detailed information about the state  assembly bills (AB) and federal legislation we are following.

CA: AB 22 (McCarty)

Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Enrollment Would require all eligible children meeting certain requirements (age), and not enrolled in TK, to have access to CA State Preschool Programs the year before they enter Kindergarten if parents wish to enroll.

CA: AB 568 (Rivas)

Deals with early learning and care complaints about discrimination and exclusion of children and addresses the suspension and expulsion of African American and Hispanic children in early childhood settings through legislative intent.

CA: AB 791 (Aguiar- Curry)

Childcare - trauma-informed child care training: This would encourage licensed child care programs and their employees to complete trauma informed training. Trauma-Informed Child Care Training Grants to expand access across the state.

Federal: American Rescue Plan-H.R. 1319

- $1,400 stimulus checks to individuals
- An extension of unemployment benefits
- Tens of billions in aid for small businesses   
   and not-for-profits
- $130 billion for K-12 schools to open safely
- $39 billion for childcare
        - Help expand access to high quality       
           childcare
         - Support child care providers, including  
           family child care homes cover costs and
           operate and reopen safely

Federal: Child Care for Economic Recovery Act

- H.R. 7327
- Provides more long-term relief for child care
   providers
- Funding to revamp center infrastructure to   
   adhere to the more stringent health   
   guidelines of the COVID era. Think cleaning, 
   PPE, lower ratios
- The bill would also expand child care tax
   credits that parents can use, expanding
   coverage to middle- and low-income
   parents. The bill would provide $170 billion
   in funds over 10 years
- Bipartisan support across party lines
- Currently has passed in the house

“The last time the U.S. government paid this much attention to child care was during World War II when it funded day cares across the country to ensure women could work in wartime factories.” (Peck) From the Huffington post, “The COVID-19 Relief Bill Could Be A Huge Turning Point For Child Care In The U.S.”

Highlights on the State of the Early Childhood Workforce

During the first eight months of the pandemic over 166,000 jobs in the sector evaporated.

At least 13% of child care centers and child care homes are still closed (as of March 2021).

Fifty-six percent of child care centers said they lose money every day they’re open in a December survey from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Early educators have continuously shown high rates of utilizing public income support programs — i.e., the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) — which may serve as a bellwether for the economic insecurity of this workforce.

Only 2% of all U.S. occupations pay lower wages than the child care industry, which is made up primarily of female workers of color.

Further Reading (click on hyperlinks):

The COVID-19 Relief Bill Could Be A Huge Turning Point For Child Care In The U.S. by HuffPost

State of the workforce Index 2020, Center for the Study of Childcare

State of Childcare in America

Vice President Kamala Harris visiting the West Haven Child Development Center in Connecticut

NAEYC 2021 Public Policy Forum

We are excited that two of our board members represented Orange County to advocate on behalf of the early childhood community at the 2021 NAEYC Public Policy Forum. Thank you HannahThompson and Ana Page for helping us move nonpartisan agenda in support of young children and the early childhood education (ECE) profession! Follow the social media tags #naeycppf and #ECE to learn more!