Blog | March 25, 2021

ReadyNation California 2021-2022 Policy Agenda

Our legislative priorities for California fiscal year

2021-2022 ReadyNation Budget and Legislative Policy Agenda

Early Childhood Care & Education

Access to high-quality early education is critical to our next generation’s future success. ReadyNation is committed to strengthening California’s early childhood education system because of its positive impact on working families and on strengthening California’s workforce, as well as its contribution to increased productivity, morale and earnings.

Budget Investments:

ReadyNation is part of the California ECE Coalition and supports the coalition’s state budget requests that include increasing provider reimbursement rates, increased investments in subsidized child care, waiving copayments or fees for low-income families in childcare, and investing in technology.

State Legislation:

AB 92 (Reyes) - Preschool & Development Services: Family Fees

  • What the bill does: This bill would create an equitable sliding scale for child care family fees that will alleviate the burden on working families struggling to pay for child care and early childhood education services.
  • Why it matters: A 2019 study by ReadyNation revealed that the lack of reliable child care for working parents of young children, up to age 3, could come to $6.8 to $9.1 billion in annual costs in lost earnings, productivity, and revenue for California.

AB 865 (Quirk-Silva) - Child Care Services Alternative Payment Programs

  • What the bill does: This bill would allow for family child care providers and centers to be reimbursed based on a family’s maximum certified hours of need and not based on attendance. It would also require the State to make direct deposits to contractors, and greater use of electronic communications to best support the needs of families.
  • Why it matters: The child care industry is a vital backbone to California’s future economy. Since the pandemic, an estimated 5,500 family child care homes and 9,200 childcare centers have closed in California. This bill would lessen the financial hardships imposed on California’s family child care providers by allowing them to more accurately plan and budget to stay open for business.

SB 50 (Limón) - Strengthening the 0-5 ECE System

  • What the bill does: This bill would strengthen and streamline the early learning and care system by, among other things, opening the State Preschool Program (CSPP) to serve children 0-5, expand eligibility for subsidized child care & preschool to more families, and allow unhoused families and families with variable work schedules to better access child care.
  • Why it matters: Quality early learning experiences during the earliest years help set children on a path to thrive in school and life while supporting working parents.

SB 246 (Leyva) - Early Childhood Education: Reimbursement Rates

  • What the bill does: This bill would establish a single regionalized state reimbursement rate system — The Child Care Stabilization Formula — for child care, preschool, and early learning services.
  • Why it matters: California’s current bifurcated rate system and low reimbursement rates make it harder to fund and deliver high-quality child care. A single state reimbursement rate system would increase teacher compensation, move toward adequately funding early child care programs, and contribute to increasing high-quality care.

K-12 and Postsecondary Education

Equipping students with the skills, resources, and credentials of value they need to succeed in our workforce is imperative to our state’s future success. ReadyNation supports evidence-based solutions that increase equity in postsecondary completion and close the digital divide through: broadband access, device access, and digital literacy. We also support increasing school funding, providing integrated services and meeting the needs of all students.

Budget Investments:

Support fully funding schools including the adjusted COLA for California’s school funding formula, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF); funding for mental health services in schools; and funding for full-service community schools. Additionally, restore money allocated in 2019 of $5M in educator professional development focused on computer science and $250,000 per year for a Computer Science Coordinator at the California Department of Education.

State Legislation:

SB 4 (Gonzalez) - Broadband for All Act

  • What the bill does: This bill would implement a number of reforms to the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) program to create a more equitable broadband funding stream to help close the digital divide and meet the connectivity needs of all Californians.
  • Why it matters: In California, an estimated 1.5 million children (25%) lack an adequate internet connection and 1.1 million children (17 percent) lack adequate devices. Expanding broadband access to areas that lack infrastructure is key to strengthening educational outcomes & ensuring opportunities for future economic growth.

SB 309 (Leyva) - College Access for All Act

  • What the bill does: This bill would appropriate $200,000,000 to establish the A–G Completion Improvement Grant Program - providing additional funding to local educational agencies to help increase the number of California high school students who complete A-G course requirements so they are eligible to attend a University of California or California State University upon graduation.

AB 102 (Holden) - College and Career Access Pathways Partnerships

  • What the bill does: This bill would extend College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP) partnerships indefinitely (otherwise ending in 2027). CCAP allows a community college to establish a partnership with a school district/charter school to create seamless pathways from high school to community college.

AB 103 (Holden) - Pupil instruction: College and Career Access Pathways partnerships: county offices of education

  • What the bill does: This bill would extend access to dual enrollment opportunities for students in juvenile court schools by expanding the term “high school” to include community schools, continuation high schools, or juvenile court schools.
  • Why these bills matter (SB 309, AB 102, AB 103): By 2025, 60 percent of adults in America will need a high-quality postsecondary degree, certificate, or credential of value to meet the growing demand for skills in the workforce. Statewide, however, only about one-third (35 percent) of Californians ages 25-64 have bachelor’s degrees or higher. Equipping California’s residents with the skills and credentials of value they need to succeed in our workforce is imperative to our state’s future economic success.

Expanded Learning Programs

Afterschool and summer programs offer students a safe place to learn, build social and emotional skills, and develop into successful adults. But access to these crucial programs remains inadequate, due in part to how California funds them. ReadyNation’s business leaders know that afterschool programs support the growth and success of our economy because they support working families and help to prepare our youth for the 21st Century workforce.

Budget Investments:

We support the California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance’s ask to the Legislature to provide a minimum of $25 million for a COLA to state funded expanded learning programs, such as After School Education and Safety (ASES) programs.

State Legislation:

AB 1112 (Carrillo) - Before and After School Programs: Maximum Grant Amounts

  • What the bill does: The bill would remove maximum grant amounts and require the California Department of Education (CDE) to determine the grant amounts and how much programs receive per child within the total budget amount set by the Legislature. It would require the CDE to develop a procedure to determine regional rates for programs as well as change the way rates are set by prioritizing support for students and families that need it the most through a data and stakeholder driven process, rather than having the same rate no matter where the program operates.
  • Why it matters: In California, over 2.4 million students are waiting to enroll in afterschool - partially a consequence of inadequate funding that can make it difficult for programs to serve all students. To support working families and help to prepare our youth for the future workforce, it is critical that we invest in these high-quality programs.


  1. California