Newsom Administration Releases Master Plan for Early Learning and Care

The week, the Newsom Administration released the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care: California for All Kids report, detailing a research-based roadmap for building a comprehensive and equitable early learning and care system over the next decade. The plan is anticipated to better assist the state in understanding the challenges families, children, and early learning and care providers are facing amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The report identifies key policy goals to ensure that all California children can thrive physically, emotionally, and educationally in their early years through access to high-quality early learning and care programs. These goals include universal preschool, enhanced workforce development and equitable career pathways for educators and caregivers, and funding reforms to promote equitable access to high-quality early learning and care.

Released by the California Health and Human Services (CHHS) Agency, the plan was a collaborative effort among WestEd, the RAND Corporation, Child Trends, American Institutes for Research, Glen Price Group, the Neimand Collaborative, Low Income Investment Fund, Stanford University, and SparkPlace. The plan builds upon the Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission report and is rooted in the understanding that access to high-quality early learning and care improves outcomes among all children and families and helps address racial and economic inequities.

The plan’s recommendations include:

  • Unifying programs for infants and toddlers and improving access to paid family leave
  • Providing universal preschool for all four-year-olds and income-eligible three-year-olds and those with disabilities
  • Prohibiting suspensions and expulsions in subsidized early learning programs, which has disproportionately impacted young black boys
  • Supporting the development of dual language learners who represent 60 percent of California’s young children
  • Building a licensure and workforce development system based on the knowledge and skills of the workforce that supports and rewards the workforce
  • Implementing funding reform to address regional cost of care differences, help sustain a high-quality workforce, and allow for sliding fees for more private-pay families to participate
  • Growing shared services networks to support childcare providers and help their small businesses grow
  • Improving data sharing to advance equity, efficiency, and continuous improvement

The full master plan is available here. An announcement from the Governor’s Office is available here.