In 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill No. 131 into law. The bill includes $579 million in funding for child care and preschool providers, including $250 million in infrastructure grants to build or renovate child care facilities, with a focus on underserved areas. This law establishes the Early Learning and Care Infrastructure Grant Program under the administration of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to expand access to early learning and care opportunities for children up to five years of age by providing resources to build new facilities or retrofit, renovate, or expand existing facilities. This law appropriates $245,000,000 from the General Fund to the State Department of Education for these purposes, to be released on a prescribed schedule. The Early Learning and Care Infrastructure Grant Fund offers up to $1.5 million for Child Care and Development Centers and up to $100,000 for Family Child Care homes.
The grant can be used to increase licensed spaces by renovating or building out an existing facility by adding classrooms, constructing a brand-new center-based facility, replacing a facility lost due to a state or federally declared disaster, or expanding Small Family Child Care Homes to Large Family Child Care Homes.
Northern California Small Business Development Center. (n.d.). Infrastructure Grant Program
California Legislature. (n.d.). AB-131 Child Development Programs.
Office of Governor Gavin Newsom. (2021). Governor Newsom Signs Legislation Supporting Working Families and Child Care Providers.
California Department of Social Services. (n.d.). New Construction and Major Renovation.
Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings
Learn More About ELS@H Findings
High-quality, affordable early education and care supports children’s healthy development and allows families to work, engage in their own educational pursuits, and/or participate in other aspects of community life. To support children and families in these instrumental ways, research suggests there is a need to expand the availability of early education opportunities across the mixed-delivery system.
Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:
- Families rely on a range of formal (e.g., Head Start, center-based care, public pre-K) and more informal (e.g., home-based, relative care) early education settings; when choosing a setting for their child, families balance many logistical constraints and personal preferences.
- But for many families – and especially low- and middle-income families – early education choices remain tightly constrained due to issues of affordability and supply.