BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 833


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          Date of Hearing:  May 13, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          AB  
          833 (Bonta) - As Amended April 22, 2015


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY:  This bill establishes a 5-year subsidized child care  
          pilot program in Alameda County. Specifically, this bill:  


          1)Permits Alameda County to develop and implement an  
            individualized county child care subsidy plan, as specified.


          2)Requires the California Department of Education's (CDE) Child  






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            Development Division (CDD) to review and either approve or  
            disapprove any modification of the plan within 30 days of  
            receiving it.  Specifies that CDD may only disapprove those  
            portions of the plan that are not in conformance with the  
            provisions of this bill or that are in conflict with federal  
            law.


          3)Requires the county to prepare and submit a report summarizing  
            the success of the county's plan, as specified, to the  
            Legislature, the Department of Social Services (DSS), and CDE  
            each year.


          4)Requires a participating contractor to receive any increase or  
            decrease in funding that the contractor would have received  
            had the contractor not participated in the plan.


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          This bill would allow Alameda County to retain unspent child  
          care funds that otherwise would revert to the General Fund.  
          Between 2011-12 and 2013-14, the County was unable to spend  
          approximately 5% of its contracted amounts each year, and  
          returned over $10 million in unspent child care funding to the  
          State. That funding is a combination of GF, Prop 98 funding and  
          federal funds. Historically, such reversions have been  
          redistributed for child care purposes in subsequent budget  
          years.


          COMMENTS:


          1)Purpose. According to the author, "In Alameda County, many  
            children and families are unable to access quality child care  
            in part by the unintended consequences of living in a high  
            cost county.  Since many families are deemed ineligible due to  
            the high cost of living and provider reimbursement rates are  






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            insufficient to cover the cost of care, child care subsidy  
            funds allocated to Alameda County are not fully expended.  
            [This bill] provides Alameda County limited local flexibility  
            with increased state oversight to address the fiscal reality  
            of high-cost counties, where the cost of living and doing  
            business is well beyond the state median." This bill would  
            enable Alameda County to maximize allocated funding and  
            efficiently use child care subsidy funds by creating an  
            individualized county child care subsidy plan in Alameda  
            County like those used in San Mateo and San Francisco  
            Counties. 
          2)Background: California offers subsidized child care to parents  
            participating in CalWORKs and to families transitioning off of  
            and no longer receiving aid.  This child care is offered in  
            three "stages." DSS administers Stage 1, and CDE administers  
            Stages 2 and 3.  CDE also administers non-CalWORKs child care.  
             The largest programs are:  General Child Care, which includes  
            contracted centers and family child care homes; the California  
            State Preschool Program for three- and four-year olds; and  
            APPs, which provide vouchers to obtain child care in a center,  
            family child care home, or from a license-exempt provider.   
            Waitlists for non-CalWORKs child care are common.


            Families are typically eligible for subsidized child care if  
            their income is less than 70% of the 2007-08 State Median  
            Income (about $42,000 per year for a family of 3), if the  
            parents have a need related to work, training, or education,  
            and if the children are up to 12 years old (or 21 years old  
            for youth with exceptional needs). 





            In Alameda County, 14,206 children are served by subsidized  
            child care programs, not including those in CalWORKs Stage 1  
            child care. Alameda County does not have a centralized  
            eligibility list that provides an exact number of children  
            wait-listed for subsidized child care, but the Alameda County  
            Early Care and Education Planning Council polled providers in  






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            the county and found that there are over 9,750 children on  
            their waitlists.  





          3)Pilot Programs. The individualize county child care pilot  
            programs in San Mateo and San Francisco Counties were created  
            to address issues similar to those faced by Alameda County  
            today.  Both counties were seeing a portion of their child  
            care subsidy funds go unused as low-income families in these  
            high-cost counties failed to qualify under statewide criteria,  
            and provider reimbursement rates were insufficient to cover  
            program costs and overhead. These pilot projects, still in use  
            today, offer limited local flexibility to revise eligibility  
            rules and adjust provider rates to meet local needs.  As a  
            result, these counties have been able to reinvest  
            otherwise-unused funds back into their programs.



          4)Prior Legislation:
             a)   AB 260 (Gordon), Chapter 731, Statutes of 2013, extended  
               the sunset dates of the San Francisco and San Mateo County  
               individualized county child care subsidy plans to 2016 and  
               2018, respectively.


             b)   The sunset date of the San Francisco plan has been  
               extended three times as follows: AB 86 (Committee on  
               Budget), Chapter 48, Statutes of 2013, SB 1016 (Committee  
               on Budget and Fiscal Review), Chapter 38, Statutes of 2012,  
               AB 1610 (Committee on Budget), Chapter 724, Statutes of  
               2010, 


             c)   SB 1225 (Yee), 2010, would have extended the sunset date  
               of the San Francisco individualized county child care  
               subsidy plan to 2016.  It was held in the Senate  
               Appropriations Committee.






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             d)   AB 1304 (Simitian), Chapter 61, Statutes of 2008,  
               extended the sunset data of the San Mateo County  
               individualized county child care subsidy plan to 2014.


             e)   SB 701 (Migden), Chapter 725, Statutes of 2005,  
               established the San Francisco individualized county child  
               care subsidy plan pilot project, to sunset in 2011. 


             f)   AB 1326 (Simitian), Chapter 691, Statutes of 2003,  
               established the San Mateo County individualized county  
               child care subsidy plan pilot project, to sunset in 2009.


          Analysis Prepared by:Jennifer Swenson / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081