State 2011-2012 Budget maintains Prop. 49 funding, but eliminates most child care subsidies for ages 11 and 12


On March 24, 2011, the Governor signed into law budget trailer bill SB 70 which includes significant cuts to the state child care system, including the elimination of child care subsidies for most 11- and 12-year-olds (other than those served in nontraditional hours) and giving otherwise eligible 11- and 12-year olds priority for ASES and 21st Century Community Learning Centers programs (see specific language below).

Total child care cuts were over $500 million, including an estimated $120+ million in cuts to school-age child care, from not only elimination of subsidies for most 11- and 12-year-olds, but also an across-the-board cut to many programs, reduced reimbursement rates for many subsidies (some of which are part of a bill that has not yet been presented to the Governor), and stricter income-eligibility requirements. Overall, child care subsidies will be eliminated for over 22,000 school-age children. The budget protected funding for the After School Education and Safety program.

If the Governor’s proposed tax extensions either fail to go on the ballot or are defeated at the ballot, the Legislature will need to revisit the FY 2011-2012, meaning that further cuts are possible.

Regarding 11- and 12-year olds, the bills provide:

“(a)  Beginning on July 1, 2011, a child who is 11 or 12 years of age and who is otherwise eligible for subsidized child care and development services except for his or her age … shall be given first priority for enrollment, and in
cases of programs operating at full capacity, first priority on the waiting list for a [ASES or 21st Century] before or after school program. Contractors shall provide each family of an otherwise eligible 11 or 12 year old with information about the availability of before and after school programs located in the family’s community.
(b)  A program with available capacity may enroll a child who is 11 or 12 years of age pursuant to subdivision (a) and resides outside the attendance area of the school, but within the territorial jurisdiction of the same local educational agency. A program is not responsible for providing transportation for children enrolled in the program who resides outside the attendance area of the school.
(c)  This section does not apply to an 11 or 12 year old child who is … provided services during nontraditional hours.”

Prior activity:

Governor Brown released his proposed 2011-2012 budget on January 10, 2011. The proposed budget does not threaten Proposition 49/ASES funding, which may only be reduced via ballot initiative.

However, it does call for significant cuts to the child care subsidy system which serves many school-age students before and after school, as well as during the summer. These cuts include elimination of subsidies for 11- and 12- year olds, reduced reimbursement rates, and narrowed income-eligibility levels (from 75% of State Median Income, to 60%). Total proposed child care cuts (from infants through school-age children) are $750 million.

The budget does propose returning to the ballot regarding Proposition 10 (First 5 Commissions) in order to redirect some of its funding to other programs, and proposes without a ballot measure to redirect some funding from Proposition 63 (Mental Health Services Act)