SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KERO) — Improving access to child care services have been in the works in California since early last month and the new state budget includes an increase in reimbursement rates for families.
The new state budget that was introduced by Assembly Member Rudy Salas will increase reimbursement rates for families.
“This budget is going to be great for Californians where we are investing not only in education, but in child care, health care, homelessness, dealing with a lot of issues that Californians are facing," said Salas.
Salas adds that more than half a billion dollars is being spent to ensure access to child care services for working families in need.
This year’s budget increases the reimbursement rate for child care by $136 million and increases the rates for three-year-olds by $370 million.
“We are also giving taxpayers their money back in terms of funds to deal with things like inflation, higher gas prices, having to pay the mortgage and just paying their bills. This budget is giving back to those single parents and just parents in general," said Salas.
Salas' office says the effort to help families afford child care continues by getting rid of family fees for the next year.
The waived fees are a continuation from the covid-19 relief package for families.and can help save hundreds of dollars a month.
“We know everybody was thrown for a loop with the pandemic but now that we are coming out of it and we have this good economic times here in the state of California, we want to make sure that we’re investing it in the right places. One of those places is in child care and making sure that we take care of those families that need to get to work and making sure that we’re taking care of those kids.”
The budget also includes $100 million to build new child care facilities across the state and renovate current facilities in need of upgrades so that children can continue to be taken care of by providers in a safe, and clean space.
“Someone that is reputable, someone that is going to keep their kid safe and teach them. making sure that we’re providing more money to the county so that when counties contract out with our locals, that they have the resources there to do that for our parents and to do that for our kids,” said Salas.
The fiscal year for the state budget began July 1st.
Salas says Kern County can expect to see the funds within the next few months.