(SACRAMENTO, CA) - Today, the Senate Education Committee passed Assembly Bill (AB) 47, the Preschool for Act (Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento) on a bi-partisan vote. This measure requires the state to provide funding for all children who are eligible for the state preschool program, who do not have access to Transitional Kindergarten or Head Start, with the opportunity to enroll in the program.
"We owe it to our children and we owe it to the families across California, to ensure that children are ready to start school and be successful," said Assemblymember McCarty. "AB 47 bill will ensure that we keep the promise made to our preschoolers last year and provide each of our low-income children access to quality preschool."
"We are encouraged to see continued support for preschool in the Legislature with the passage of this bill and with recent budget investments. Andwe have an obligation to keepbuilding on this momentum to ensure that no child is denied the opportunity to start kindergarten ready to learn,"said Deborah Kong, president of Early Edge California. "AB 47 helps us continue that progress so that all childrenwillhave the opportunity to reach their full potential."
In this year's budget, the importance of quality early childhood was prioritized in the budget, including 9,500 new preschool slots. Unfortunately despite this increase, an estimated 40,000 four-year-olds do not have access to Transitional Kindergarten, Head Start, or State Preschool. This measure furthers last year's commitment from the Governor and Legislature to expand the state preschool program for all low income families who do not have access to one year of state preschool or transitional kindergarten. AB 47 now heads to the Senate Committee on Appropriations for consideration.