The Building a Better Early Care and Education System Act – AB378

If passed, the Building a Better Early Care and Education System Act (AB378), will allow California’s 40,000 child care providers to negotiate with the state for improvements to the early childhood education system. This bill, authored by State Assembly Member Monique Limon, will give providers a seat at the table with the state of California to negotiate over the issues that impact our profession, including:

  • Improved wages and benefits that will allow providers to support their own families. Currently, providers do not receive health benefits and earn low wages paid by the state.
  • Increasing access for low-income children and families who cannot afford the rising cost of child care – now estimated at as much as $14,000 a year per child in California.

AB 378 also calls for a training partnership to play a coordinating role in ensuring the training offered to providers meets the state’s needs for the overall childcare workforce; satisfies the health, safety, and educational standards prescribed by the state; aligns with the 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.

“To improve child care, California must listen to those who know working families best: our 40,000 home-based child care providers,” said Assembly Member Limon. “There are no voices more knowledgeable or passionate about California’s critical child care needs than this group of mostly women who labor every day to nurture our children and fuel our economy by making it possible for moms and dads to report to work. If they are to lead and inform us on the issue of child care, their voices must be heard.”

What are the steps to pass AB378?

There are several steps to passing a legislative bill. These steps happen over several months and it’s important that providers’ voices are heard every step of the way.

  1. The bill was introduced in Sacramento on February 6, 2019. The next step is for the bill to be heard by State Assembly Committees.
  2. If the Assembly Committees approve AB378, the bill goes to the full state Assembly for a vote.
  3. If the Assembly approves AB378, it moves to the State Senate.
  4. Senate Committees then review the bill. If the Senate committees approve it, it moves to the full Senate for a vote.
  5. If the Senate approves it, the bill goes to the Governor of California.
  6. The Governor has three choices:
    1. He can sign the bill into law,
    2. allow it to become law without his or her signature, or
    3. veto it.

Once the bill is signed by the Governor and becomes law, providers in California will finally have the same collective bargaining rights enjoyed by other workers throughout our country, including providers in 11 other states who already have a seat at the table to negotiate improvements for early care and learning.

So let’s make sure this bill becomes a law! Share your story to make sure state legislators and the governor understand how important it is for providers to have a strong voice for quality child care for all.

Frequently Asked Questions

While we have been able to make some gains, only by joining together do we have the strength in numbers to negotiate a legal, binding contract that will bring lasting changes. Once we pass AB 378, we will be guaranteed our right to collective bargaining, providers will be able to work with the state to identify priorities and improve the quality of child care services for providers, parents and children.

No, family child care providers will not become state employees.  We will continue to be small business owners. Our bill allows home-based family child care providers to have a voice so we can work together with the state to:

  • Improve access to child care for children and working families
  • Stabilize the child care workforce by giving family child care providers the tools needed to run successful businesses.
  • Increase parents’ options for affordable, quality child care
  • Create training opportunities for that will lead to greater quality early education and care.

No. Reimbursement rates for providers working in the state’s child care assistance program are set by the state and mandated by an existing state law that will be unchanged by AB 378. In fact, AB 378 will allow California’s child care providers to negotiate with the state for improvements to the early education system, including increasing funding for subsidized care and improving access for low-income children and families who cannot afford the rising cost of child care. California can afford it. California is the fifth largest economy in the world, it’s time every corporation pay their fair share to give the Golden State the world-class early education we deserve.  

With a united voice child care providers can help improve regulations and increase certification for improved safety and training courses for providers.

Yes! In fact, we can’t afford not to. There is more wealth in California than ever before. By joining together, we’ll have a strong voice to make sure California puts kids first and prioritizes early education.