Contributed by the Office of Rich Gordon:
A bill that will continue a successful San Mateo County child care pilot program passed out of the legislature and now heads to the Governor. Authored by Assemblyman Rich Gordon and co-authored by San Mateo County state lawmakers, AB 260 will allow San Mateo County to continue providing quality child care programs to adequately address the needs of children and working families.
As one of the state’s highest cost of living regions, San Mateo County experienced problems in providing adequate subsidized child care due to lower state eligibility and reimbursement rates, which are based on single statewide income eligibility criteria. To address these issues, legislation passed in 2003 created a pilot program to provide flexibility for family eligibility, setting reasonable family fees, and establishing appropriate reimbursement rates.
The results over the past nine years prove that the pilot allows the county to maximize limited child care subsidy funds in order to fulfill the child care needs of local families and residents. AB 260 will allow this program to continue until 2018, without adding additional costs to the state.
“This bill is ultimately about local control and providing local governments with the tools necessary to best serve their residents,” said Gordon, a former San Mateo County Supervisor and former President of the California State Association of Counties. “Nine years of proven results demonstrates why this program ought to continue and to ensure the county continues to deliver high-quality child care programs.”
Anne Campbell, Superintendent of Schools and Co-chair of the San Mateo County Child Care Partnership Council, echoed support for the program.
“AB 260 adds an additional layer of support to ensure that all our children have access to high-quality early learning and care; this is a win for all,” she said
Speaking to the local benefits and successes of the child care pilot program, Deb Miller, Chief Program Officer with Peninsula Family Services, a countywide child development organization, shared, “The San Mateo County Pilot is essential to sustain our vital early care and education programs upon which hundreds of young children and their working families depend.”
Additionally, AB 260 would extend the pilot program for the City and County of San Francisco, which was implemented seven years ago following the success of the San Mateo County pilot. Without legislative action, these two successful pilot programs are scheduled to become inoperative in 2015.