By Jeremy Hay
California families who qualify for state-subsidized child care would be guaranteed eligibility for 12 months under a bill working its way through the state Legislature that would bring the state into compliance with federal requirements.
Under current state law, families in California’s publicly funded preschool and childcare programs for low-income children must re-establish their eligibility at least once every six months and any time there are changes to their employment situation, income or family size. Parents who work a variable schedule – one in which hours can change weekly – must re-establish their eligibility every four months. Childcare and family advocates have long urged legislators to change those requirements. There are about 270,000 children in the state-funded programs.