By URMILA SHENDE and ARI HAUPTMAN
Drs. Urmila Shende and Ari Hauptman are members of the Community Child Care Council board of directors.
As busy pediatricians, we see the value in and need for quality child care and preschool as essential in providing the foundation for success in school for our children.
Early childhood education eventually leads to school achievement, improved graduation rates and future employment, helping provide stability and prosperity for our community.
The Community Child Care Council, better known as the 4Cs, has been a resource in Sonoma County since 1972, supporting parents, child care providers, local businesses and the community at large.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s May budget revision proposes to eliminate the state’s child care infrastructure, which will drasticallyimpact Sonoma County and California’s children, families and economy as well as our community’s future stability and prosperity.
Below are data that relate to 4Cs, the services we provide to the community and the numbers of jobs that will be lost, small businesses that will be dramatically impacted, children who will lose quality preschool and child care and working parents who may lose jobs because they don’t have child care.
The governor’s budget proposal:
• Eliminates nearly 1,300 subsidized child-care slots for children from birth through age 12. These children are from low-income families where parents are working or in job-training programs.
• Jeopardizes the employment of more than 600 families working toward self-sufficiency.
• Eliminates more than $5 million in income to small child-care businesses and the economy of Sonoma County. This amount represents the child-care payments to licensed centers and family child-care providers.
• Eliminates the 4Cs Child Care Resource & Referral Program, including more than 100 provider trainings per year, more than 3,000 free child care referrals for families of all income levels, data and statistics of the Sonoma County early childhood education field.
• Eliminates the Centralized Eligibility List, where low-income families who are in need of child care wait for an slot to come available. The current waiting list contains more than 2,800 families who would never have a chance to be served based on these eliminations.
This data only reflects 4Cs. They do not include the additional losses of similar local service agencies.
Please help. Contact the governor and let him know you disagree with these proposals. Contact your representatives in the state Senate and Assembly and ask them to reject the governor’s budget proposals. Check the 4Cs website at www.sonoma4cs.org for updated news on the budget process and advocacy efforts.