BILL NUMBER: AB 495 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Davis FEBRUARY 24, 2009 An act to add Article 14 (commencing with Section 32436) to Chapter 3 of Part 19 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code, relating to preschool. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST AB 495, as introduced, Davis. Preschool: data collection. Existing law provides for the licensure of child day care centers, including centers that provide preschool services. Existing law states the intent of the Legislature that all families have access to child care and development services, through resource and referral services, where appropriate, regardless of ethnic status, cultural background, or special needs. This bill would require the State Department of Education to annually determine the number of three- and four-year-old children in the state and in each county, the number of licensed providers offering preschool services, and the number of children that each licensed provider could accommodate with respect to preschool services. The bill would require the department to post this data on the most appropriate of its Internet Web sites, and to update the Internet Web site as soon as practicable after obtaining new data. Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (a) A child's participation in a quality preschool educational program plays a critical role in his or her educational development and success in school. Studies have shown that children who participate in quality preschool programs are more likely to become proficient readers by the third grade, graduate from high school, and attend college than their peers who do not attend quality preschool educational programs. (b) Scientific knowledge about how children's brains develop confirms the importance of participation in quality preschool educational programs. Ninety percent of brain growth occurs before age five, before most children enroll in kindergarten. (c) Quality preschool education provides a crucial opportunity to engage parents in the education of their children, and to create a habit of parental involvement that will last throughout a child's academic career. (d) Studies have shown that early education and intervention for children with special needs in preschool reduce the need for costly special education services in later years. (e) Quality preschool education helps English learners develop their English language skills and meet school readiness goals. (f) There is a severe shortage of quality, affordable preschool education providers in California, and California lags behind the nation in preschool enrollment. SEC. 2. Article 14 (commencing with Section 32436) is added to Chapter 3 of Part 19 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code, to read: Article 14. Preschool Data 32436. (a) The department shall annually determine the number of three- and four-year-old children in the state and in each county, the number of licensed providers offering preschool services, and the number of children that each licensed provider could accommodate with respect to preschool services. (b) The department shall post the data specified in subdivision (a) on the most appropriate of its Internet Web sites, and shall update the Internet Web site as soon as practicable after new data is obtained.