New California Laws for 2020
Posted on December 19, 2019 by CHS
In October 2019, the California Legislature concluded the 2019 legislative session. In total, Governor Newsom approved 870 pieces of legislation and vetoed 172 bills. Many of these new laws will take effect in January of 2020. Here are some of the new laws that are relevant to families with young children and child care providers:
1) A new law forbids California middle schools from starting before 8 a.m. and prohibits high schools from starting class before 8:30 a.m. This bill is a response to research indicating that these age groups are healthier when they have a later start to their day. Schools must adopt the law before July 1, 2022, or sooner if they have collective bargaining units that allow negotiation before the deadline.
2) Legislative leaders and the governor’s office agreed on legislation to place a $15 billion preschool, K-12, and higher education construction bond before voters in March 2020. The bond will be designed to push small districts needing financial help and low-income, low-property wealth districts farther ahead in line for a larger share of state dollars and give priority to districts with pressing facilities needs, including removing lead in water and reducing seismic hazards. Nine billion of the $15 billion would be allocated to the K-12 system, with a focus on smaller districts and low-wealth communities.
The proposed breakdown of the $9 billion in K-12 funding:
- $5.2 billion for modernizing schools
- $2.8 billion for new construction
- $500 million for career technical education facilities
- $500 million for charter schools
3) Assembly Bill (AB) 378 creates a training partnership that ensures the training offered to providers meets the state’s needs for the overall child care workforce; satisfies the health, safety, and educational standards prescribed by the state; aligns with California’s quality rating systems; and identifies and works to eliminate barriers to providers accessing training in order to create a sustainable career pathway for the early education workforce. Additionally, this bill gives family child care providers the right to unionize and collectively bargain with the state and negotiate for improvements that impact their work.
4) The Governor signed Senate Bill (SB) 234, the Keeping Kids Close to Home Act. SB 234 equalizes and updates state law to encourage and support family child care homes, and increases the availability of family child care so children in all our communities can receive quality care close to home. SB 234 equalizes the local permitting process for large family child care homes that care for up to 14 children, closing loopholes that have led to an uneven application by cities and burdensome local regulations. SB 234 clarifies that family child care can operate in all types of residential settings close to where families live, in all communities. SB 234 updates housing protections for family child care providers so families can choose a home-like environment for their children with less obstacles.
The Child Care Law Center has published fact sheets on SB 234 in four languages: http://childcarelaw.org/2019/10/preguntas-frecuentes-sobre-sb-234/
5) SB 75 (Education Finance) would make a family eligible for a full-day California state preschool program without meeting the requirements relating to the need for child care services if all families meeting those requirements have been enrolled. The bill would authorize any remaining slots to be open for enrollment to any other families not otherwise eligible. The law will also convert the state’s Child Care Facilities Revolving Fund. As of December 31, 2019, remaining funds in the loan program will be allocated to the new Early Learning and Care Infrastructure Grant Program. The grant program will expand access to early learning and care opportunities for children up to five years of age by providing resources to build new facilities or retrofit, renovate, or expand existing facilities, as provided. The grants will be competitively awarded over the next four years and will be limited to child care centers in the first year. Grants will be prioritized for providers who serve children in high need communities with lack of affordable child care; are located in areas impacted by natural disasters; or care for children 0-5 with exceptional needs. The bill also establishes the Early Learning and Care Workforce Development Grants Program to expand the number of qualified early learning and care professionals and increase the educational credentials of existing early learning and care professionals across the state, as provided.
6) SB 80 (Human Services Omnibus) states the intent of the Legislature to achieve annual inspections for licensed child day care centers and licensed family day care homes and facilities on or before July 1, 2021. The bill also makes several changes to the CalWORKs child care system. Beginning October 1, 2019, counties must authorize Stage 1 Child Care immediately upon approval of the CalWORKs application, and continuously for 12 months or until families are transferred to Stage 2. Families will be authorized for full-time care unless the parent decides that part-time care better meets their needs. Families can receive child care so they can participate in activities such as family support and stabilization, domestic violence or mental health counseling, housing search, work, education, and training. Counties must verify that child care has been secured before the parent can be required to participate in any mandated activity, including initial appointments. At the time of transfer, families may not be discontinued from Stage 1 until confirmation is received from the Stage 2 contractor that the family has been enrolled, or that the family is not eligible for Stage 2 child care.
For a list of all the bills recently signed into law, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/newLawTemplate.xhtml