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California Released A New Master Plan For Early Education. What Will It Mean For An Industry Hit Hard By The Pandemic?




Students work on their laptop computers at St. Joseph Catholic School in La Puente, California on November 16, 2020, where pre-kindergarten to Second Grade students in need of special services returned to the classroom today for in-person instruction.
Students work on their laptop computers at St. Joseph Catholic School in La Puente, California on November 16, 2020, where pre-kindergarten to Second Grade students in need of special services returned to the classroom today for in-person instruction.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

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California Health and Human Services released a new Master Plan last week that lays out a blueprint to expand public preschool and remodel the state’s childcare system.

The Plan’s goals include universal standards for early education, better training for child-care workers, easier access to subsidized care for low-income families and universal transitional kindergarten for all California 4-year-olds. But these expansions will take years, and critics argue that the plan doesn’t do enough for the immediate needs of child care providers, who were already struggling before the pandemic and are in an extremely precarious position now. Many critics are concerned that with so many childcare providers at risk, the entire industry could collapse before many of the Plan’s outlined expansions go into effect.

Today on AirTalk, we’re learning more about California’s Master Plan for Early Learning and Care. Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.

Guests:

Mariana Dale, KPCC reporter who has been covering this story; she tweets @mariana_dale

Lupita Cortez Alcala, director of education policy and outcomes at West Ed, which led the research team on California’s Master Plan

Ashley C. Williams, senior policy analyst at the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment