First 5 LA: Looking Forward to 2020
First 5 LA is here to improve the lives of young children and their families in Los Angeles County. Throughout 2019, we worked to ensure that state policy makers and their decisions address the needs of the youngest members of our communities.
With new state leadership – Governor Gavin Newsom, who took office in January 2019 – California has developed clear priorities for elevating early childhood issues in 2019 and beyond. In 2019, the state budget reflected these priorities. First 5 LA-aligned policy priorities that the Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law include:
- $135 million to expand funding for home visiting programs.
- $105 million to increase developmental and adverse childhood experiences screenings.
- $871 million to improve quality and access to early learning programs.
First 5 LA was also proud to support champions of early childhood development legislation. Among the bills passed was AB 1004, authored by and co-sponsored by First 5 LA, which requires developmental screens for young children on Medi-Cal in accordance with federal guidelines. Other bills supported by First 5 LA and ultimately signed into law by Governor Newsom will:
- Streamline local rules to reduce barriers to families operating licensed home-based child care programs.
- Require implicit bias training for all health providers serving pregnant women.
- Assert California’s opposition to federal public charge rule changes, reducing access to services for immigrant families.
- Allow family child care providers the right to unionize.
In 2020, Governor Newsom will prioritize creating a state master plan for early childhood development, launch the Early Childhood Policy Council, and finalize a proposed waiver from the federal government to support Medi-Cal. And as 2020 begins, First 5 LA is already in full swing, working with our partners to champion children and their families. From allocating funds in the state budget to changing laws to establishing the rules and regulations that guide local programs in Los Angeles County, we look forward to further elevating and enhancing important issues impacting young children and their families.
Related Topics: Advocacy