Senate Approved Budget Provides Additional Child Care Funding
The Governor originally requested $9.6 million to fund the rapid growth CPS related child care to avoid having to displace 4,000 children from low income working families who are currently receiving child care assistance. The Governor’s request did not stop the freeze on new families receiving assistance and did not fund children on the waiting list.
The original Senate budget included a $5 million increase and the possibility of tapping a $7.5 million contingency fund, for unanticipated shortfalls which other CPS programs could also tap.
On May 16th an amendment to increase child care by $4 million was added in the final Senate budget, with bi-partisan support. The Senate budget calls for a total of $9 million and retains the ability to tap the shortfall fund (although competition for these contingency funds will not likely make a portion available for child care)
Final Resolution Pending
So what happens now? The House may consider the Senate budget or may develop their own budget. Any changes would have to be agreed upon by the Senate and ultimately signed by the Governor. Medicaid expansion is still the overriding issue affecting the final budget negotiations.
The House is expected to take up the budget the week of June 3rd and observers are increasingly optimistic that the budget will be resolved and the session conclude in the next 2-3 weeks.
Arizona Child Care Association status update February 2013
Governor Brewer Proposes Funds for Child Care
After four years of devastating state reductions for child care subsidy, Governor Brewer’s budget proposal includes $9.6 million from the General Fund for child care.
We thank the Governor for the acknowledgement that parents must have child care to go to work, and that early learning opportunities matter to young children.
While this budget proposal will not affect the child care waiting list, it will prevent thousands more children from being removed from child care in which they are safe, nurtured and learning.
New Session of the Legislature Underway!
State Representatives and Senators have returned to the Capitol to begin the new session of the Legislature. ECEC is partnering with the Arizona Child Care Association to make sure Legislators hear about child care in Arizona! As Legislators write bills, meet in Committees, and vote on issues, they will be making decisions about you, your early childhood program, and the families enrolled in your center.
Child care assistance in Arizona
Together with the Arizona Child Care Association, we urge the Governor and Legislature to stop further reductions in the number of children served and renew the State’s commitment to low income working parents by funding a multi-year plan to increase the child care subsidy funds.
State House and Senate Candidates Show Where They Stand on Child Care
The Arizona Child Care Association (ACCA) surveyed all candidates for the State Senate and State House of Representatives. The candidates were asked questions about support for subsidy for low income families and consistently applied health and safety standards. To see what candidates – many now elected and starting work at the Capitol – said, click here!
In The News
Arizona Improves in National Preschool Rankings. Public News Service. April 12, 2013.
Into the mind of Bruce Ligget. The Republic. February 15, 2013.