CAPPA Priorities: Equitable Child Care Vouchers for ALL Income-Eligible Families

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During the 2009-2010 budget cycle, when the state was looking to cut costs in the midst of an economic recession, the legislature and Administration took a "cost-saving" action to reduce the money spent on child care vouchers by creating two different types vouchers: one for families with stable work schedules which guaranteed providers a set amount of reimbursement for accepting that child(ren) into care, and the newly established secondary voucher type for families who work variable work schedules (i.e. retail, hospitality, agriculture, seasonal etc.) which only reimburses child care providers for the days that child(ren) physically attend care, thereby drastically reducing these families' access to high quality child care providers and centers, who cannot operate their businesses without knowing exactly how much they will be reimbursed per child care slot. During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Newsom took executive action to revert back to the pre 2009 single set child care voucher based solely on income eligibility, recognizing this policy will help increase access to child care for the many families and essential workers who so desperately rely on it. However, this policy currently has a sunset.


Our Ask to Legislature and the Governor

We strongly urge Governor and Legislature to include language in the 2022-2023 State Budget to revert back to the single voucher policy in perpetuity. A harmful, decade old State "cost-saving" budget decision can and should be remedied through the state budget process, especially during a year of record surplus. We ask that the Legislature and the Governor center the needs of California's most vulnerable, low income families and children by reversing this harmful policy and righting this wrong by reinstating a single child care voucher in perpetuity.

If not now, when?


What has happened so far this year:

Assembly Bill 1649 by Assemblymember Quirk-Silva was sponsored by the California Alternative Payment Program Association (CAPPA), and supported by over 40 community-serving and family advocacy organizations, over half a dozen business organizations including the California Chamber of Commerce, and the Child Care Provider's Union (CCPU). This bill would have helped increases and maintain access to child care for low-income families by ensuring all income-eligible families receive a uniform, equitable child care voucher, regardless of their work schedule.

The bill, which was widely supported and enjoyed no opposition from the public and the legislature, was held in the Assembly Suspense file after Governor Newsom included and additional year of funding for the single voucher policy in his May Revise. However, this proposal will sunset on June 30, 2023.

While we are thankful for the inclusion of this additional year of funding, which will keep families who work variable schedules in stable care for another year, we cannot continue to hold this cloud over the heads of providers who are struggling to keep their doors open, and families who worry about being disenrolled from their stable care.

Timeline and Updates:

 Bill/Policy Background and Info:

If you have any questions or would like to submit your organization's logo and a signature to join our coalition of support Cappa's ask to reinstate a single child care voucher to help increase equal access to care for all income-eligible families, please contact Puneet Purewal: [email protected]