BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 495
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 15, 2009

                           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                                Julia Brownley, Chair
                     AB 495 (Davis) - As Amended:  April 13, 2009
           
          SUBJECT  :   Preschool:  data collection

           SUMMARY  :  Requires the California Department of Education (CDE)  
          to post specified data on its Internet Web site.  Specifically,  
           this bill  :  

          1)Finds and declares 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 child brain development  
               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.








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          2)Requires the CDE, in consultation with the State Department of  
            Social Services (DSS) and the Legislative Analyst's Office, 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.

          3)Requires the CDE to post the data on the most appropriate of  
            the CDE's Internet Web sites, and to update this data  
            annually.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Establishes child care resource and referral programs to  
            identify the full range of existing child care services;  
            develop, maintain and update a resource file of availability  
            of family day care homes, public and private day care  
            programs, full-time and part-time programs, and infant,  
            preschool, and extended care programs; information on the  
            programs, including hours of service, ages of children served,  
            and fees and eligibility; and establish a referral process for  
            parents seeking child care.  

          2)Requires Alternative Payment Programs (APPs) in each county to  
            maintain and administer a centralized eligibility list to  
            consolidate local child care waiting lists.  Requires, as a  
            condition of contracting with the CDE to provide subsidized  
            child care, a contractor to participate in and use the  
            centralized eligibility list.

          3)Requires, under the California Child Day Care Facilities Act,  
            the DSS to license and regulate child day care facilities.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   Purpose of the bill  .  The author states, "Currently,  
          the state lacks a definitive source for data on the supply of  
          licensed preschool programs as compared to the number of three-  
          and four-year olds who could utilize those services.  This lack  
          of information makes it difficult for interested parties to  
          accurately assess the need for preschool services in their  
          communities and across the state."









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          This bill requires the CDE to collect and post the following on  
          the CDE's appropriate Internet Web sites and to update the  
          information annually:  

          1)Data on the number of three- and four-year old children in the  
            state and in each county;

          2)The number of licensed providers offering preschool services;  
            and,

          3)The number of children that each licensed provider could  
            accommodate with respect to preschool services.

          Currently, there are a number of sources where data on child  
          care supply and demand and the number of licensed child care  
          providers and their capacity are available.  They include the  
          following:

          1)The DSS Internet Web site has both state and county by county  
            data on the number of licensed providers broken down by  
            category of license, including family child care home and  
            child care centers, and their total capacity.

          2)The California Child Care Resource & Referral Network  
            publishes a biannual publication called the California Child  
            Care Portfolio which provides state and county by county  
            information on child care supply and demand, including  
            aggregate and disaggregate numbers of children between birth  
            and 13, the number and type of licensed facilities broken down  
            by age-group capacity, and data on child care needs based on  
            requests to local child care resource and referral programs.    
             

          3)The County Centralized Eligibility Lists (CEL), established  
            pursuant to SB 68 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review),  
            Chapter 78, Statutes of 2005, provides information on the  
            number of families seeking subsidized child care services, the  
            type of care sought, and the reasons for seeking care.  

           Issues of concern  .  The bill requires the CDE to identify the  
          number of providers offering "preschool" services.  It is  
          unclear whether, for the purpose of this bill, preschool is  
          defined as those in ages two through five or just three and  
          four.  DSS issues child care licenses for infants, from ages two  
          through five, and school age.








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          This bill also requires the CDE to post the number of children  
          that each licensed provider could accommodate with respect to  
          preschool services.  If the author intends to define preschool  
          as just three- and four-year-old children, it would be necessary  
          to survey each licensed provider to determine whether slots for  
          three- and four-year olds are set aside at each site.

          It is unclear whether data is required to be provided on family  
          child care homes or just center-based care, or both.  Family  
          child care homes are licensed for kids from birth through  
          school-age.  A family child care home can enroll, depending on  
          staffing, infants only, or a combination of different age  
          groups.  A survey of each licensed provider would be necessary  
          to determine whether slots are set aside for preschool services.  
           

          If the author intends to determine the precise gap in supply  
          compared with demand, the bill should also include factors such  
          as the number of children who do not need services because they  
          are at home with parents or relatives, such as grandparents.   
          The bill should also consider gathering enrollment information  
          to determine whether all providers are at full capacity.  State  
          subsidized child care services, including preschool, are broken  
          down by full- or part-day care.  The bill should also specify  
          whether a part-day program should be considered a gap in need.

          The bill requires the CDE to consult with the Legislative  
          Analyst's Office, presumably to determine the number of three-  
          and four-year old children.  The Department of Finance's  
          Demographics, Economics, and Financial Research Division  
          conducts demographic projections and may be a better entity for  
          the CDE to consult with.  

           Is CALPADS a long-term solution  ?  According to the CDE, CALPADS  
          will be the foundation of California's education data system.  
          CALPADS will collect student level data, including child care,  
          on demographics, program participation, and course completion.   
          It will eventually replace a number of the CDE's current  
          aggregate collections, including the California Basic  
          Educational Data System (CBEDS) collections, the Language  
          Census, Student National Origin Report (SNOR), and portions of  
          the Consolidated Application. CALPADS will also reduce the  
          amount of data collected on the answer documents of statewide  
          assessments.  While there are challenges that must be addressed  








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          (e.g., how to incorporate information from private providers),  
          CALPADS will provide eventually include information required by  
          this bill in much more details.

          Until CALPADS is in full operation, perhaps this bill should  
          simply require the CDE to provide links to existing resources  
          where information and data on supply and demand of child care  
          services can be found, including the Internet Web sites of the  
          DSS, the California Child Care and Resource & Referral Network,  
          County Centralized Eligibility lists, and the Department of  
          Finance's Demographics Unit.

           Prior Legislation  .  SB 944 (Padilla), which was held by the  
          Senate Appropriations Committee's Suspense file in 2007, would  
          have required the CDE to collect, aggregate and analyze  
          specified child care and development data and annually report  
          findings to the Legislature on that data beginning in January of  
          2010.  

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          Around the Korner Child Care Centers
          Creative Minds Preschool
          Higher Learning FCC Preschool
          Kids' Korner Preschool
          Just4kids Preschool
          Little People Destined for Greatness Universal Pre-School
          Telstar Montessori Childcare Center 

           Opposition 
           
          None on file
           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Sophia Kwong Kim / ED. / (916) 319-2087