New State Law Improves Access to Early Childhood Education Programs


A new state law, AB 833 authorizes Alameda County to develop and implement a five-year pilot plan to increase access to quality early care and education.


“Alameda County has been in dire need of a local plan to address the growing number of children and families in need of quality child care services,” said Assemblymember Rob Bonta, author of the bill.


“AB 833 provides the necessary limited local control to maximize the use of subsidy funds and improve and stabilize child care with appropriate state oversight,” he said.


According to Angie Garling, coordinator of the Alameda County Early Care and Education Planning Council, “Children and families will be better off with the enactment of AB 833 because it will allow us to better absorb recent increases in local minimum wage ordinances that have made it difficult for our providers to afford to operate. Now we can redirect funding to raise the reimbursement rate and keep families on our services longer.”


With the ability to revise eligibility and need determinations, adjust reimbursement rates and family fees based upon a local evaluation and assessment, and modify funding requirements, Alameda County will be able to utilize allocated funding efficiently to meet local conditions.


This pilot program is modeled on the successful individualized subsidy pilot plans in San Mateo and San Francisco counties. Both pilots increased enrollment, stabilized child care placements, and retained services for children and families.


“Using available resources to increase access to early care and education will build a stable, comprehensive, and adequately funded high-quality early learning and educational support system,” said Bonta.


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