Event | Event | May 2, 2023

Law Enforcement Leaders Highlight Importance of Quality Early Childhood Teachers in California

New report details that a highly-qualified, well-compensated teaching staff is key to quality early care and education for California kids

Today, San Joaquin District Attorney Ron Freitas joined Captain of the Alameda Police Department Jeff Emmitt at Only Love Children’s Center to release a new report by the bipartisan non-profit group Council for a Strong America and discuss many of the challenges faced by parents and early care and education providers.

In California, there are approximately 2.7 million children under age 6, and nearly two-thirds of these children have all available parents in the workforce. As a result, many very young children, including infants and toddlers, are in child care or preschool while their parents are working to support their families. Unfortunately, the current early childhood education system in California does not meet their needs.

That is the top line of the new report by Council for a Strong America. The report, entitled Early Childhood Educators Set California Kids on the Path to Success, details a staggering lack of child care availability in California; since 2008, the state has seen a 30 percent drop in the number of family child care providers, leaving over 700,000 children without access to quality child care.

District Attorney Ron Freitas and Captain Jeff Emmitt sat down with Ryan Suarez, executive director of Only Love Children’s Center, to discuss the report and what can be done to help child care and education providers in California.

“As a father, grandfather, former school board member and District Attorney, the math is simple: invest in our kids, and we will reduce crime not only for our generation, but for the generations after us. Some of the most effective money we can use for public safety is the money we use to invest in our children and their teachers. A little investment today, will reap a big return tomorrow.,” said Ron Freitas, District Attorney for San Joaquin County.

“The heart of any early childhood education program is the relationship between the teacher and the children. As we rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we ensure that our educators are as prepared and qualified as they can be, because they are the ones who will help build the foundations for our children to create a better, safer future,” said Captain Jeff Emmitt of the Alameda Police Department.

Last week, the California State Senate announced they plan to allocate $1 billion to improve child care reimbursement rates and postpone family fees. This funding should be included in the final state budget to provide immediate relief to the child care workforce and prevent further closure of child care and education programs due to a lack of staff.

Read more about the importance of quality early childhood teachers in California and how it can be bolstered here.

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