October Newsletter

Hello All Together Now partners,

It’s fall, and that means we now know the fate of the early childhood bills we’ve followed for the past year! Governor Newsom signed several bills that support early childhood development and help families, so it’s time for celebration—and implementation!

Check out our resources related to California’s new early childhood laws and initiatives, below.

Building on the state budget’s $54 million investment to improve rates of developmental screenings, Governor Newsom signed AB 1004 (McCarty), which will help ensure providers adhere to American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines for developmental screening and use validated screening tools. It’s a perfect time to share screening resources and facts with your networks.

For social media posts on developmental screening, click below.

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Governor Newsom bolstered the budget’s billion dollar-plus investment in early care and education by signing bills addressing child care provider wages and supply, and the high cost of care. A new law (AB 378, Limón) addresses the persistent issue of low wages for early childhood workers, allowing more than 40,0000 home-based child care workers to collectively bargain.

And a law that equalizes the permitting process across the state for family child care providers aims to increase the supply of child care on the whole (SB 234, Skinner).

While the governor made unprecedented investments in early learning, plenty more work remains:

  • More than half of California childcare workers live in poverty and qualify for public assistance programs, according to the 2018 Early Childhood Workforce Index from UC Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Child Care Employment.

  • This fact sheet from the California Budget & Policy Center shows the high cost of child care, especially infant care, for California families.

For social media posts on childcare provider pay and the cost of childcare, click below.

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The governor signed several bills related to maternal mental wellness. AB 577 (Eggman) extends Medi-Cal postpartum care for up to a year from the last day of pregnancy for a woman diagnosed with a maternal mental health condition; previously it had been 60 days. SB 464 (Mitchell), meanwhile, requires medical staff caring for pregnant women to complete implicit bias training, which should lead to better birth outcomes and reduced maternal mortality for black mothers.

The California Department of Health Care Services also recently announced plans to help improve screening and treatment of maternal depression, and implement last year’s AB 2193 (Maienschein). Following are some resources about maternal depression—its effects on infant health and attachment, and ideas for how to identify and treat it earlier.

For social media posts on the importance of strong caregiver relationships to a child’s development, click below.

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California continues marching toward a robust paid family leave (PFL) policy, with its addition of two more weeks of PFL starting July 1, 2020; and with AB 406 (Limón), a signed bill that requires translation of the paid family leave benefits application into languages spoken by a substantial number of applicants, by 2025. More to come soon, as the governor’s PFL task force plans to release its recommendations by the end of the year.

  • This recent Mercury News op-ed by a father who took PFL illustrates the value of time spent at home when a new person joins the family.

  • This PowerPoint slide deck for advocates, part of a California Work and Family Coalition and Legal Aid at Work suite of resources, explains the state’s PFL laws in details, and includes case studies and a Q&A.

For social media posts on paid family leave, click below.

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Help Us Help Little Kids!

We’re creating a digital library of quality early childhood resources, so that AllTogether Now partners can access the facts, figures, and stories they need to support little kids, with just a few mouse clicks. If you would like to contribute content to this effort, please email suggestions to Jess Berthold, Communications Director for First 5 Center for Children’s Policy, at jess@first5center.org.

Speak Loudly, Speak Often

Discussions are already gearing up for next year’s budget, so make sure you keep up the drumbeat of support for early childhood! Pre-written social media posts on the importance of early childhood, fact sheets, and more are in our digital toolkit.

Digital Toolkit

Have a great October; and we’ll be in touch next month. Meantime, stay up to date through our social media channels!

The All Together Now team

All TogetherNow