Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry Introduces Bill to Make English Learners Eligible for Child Care Assistance
Sacramento, CA – Sacramento – Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D – Winters) introduced AB 237 today in order to help Californians pursuing English-language education or a High School Equivalency certificate receive state assistance for childcare services. View Fact Sheet
Both English language learning and high school education are keys to job training, as well as educational and employment opportunities in California. They are essential in transitioning from public assistance programs to work sufficient to support a family. This hurdle is further exacerbated by the fact that English language and adult learners with children must deal with the increasingly high costs of childcare services.
“If you can’t learn English, you can’t finish your GED, enter job training, or pursue higher education. If you can’t afford child care, you can’t get to your classes. This bill will help people who want to work take the first steps to get the training they need.”
Currently, English language and adult learners with children do not qualify for federal and state subsidized child development services under the Educational Code, such as childcare and preschool.
Childcare services are a growing burden on the budgets of families in California. According to a 2015 report by the California Budget & Policy Center, the average single mother could expect to spend over two-thirds of her income to cover the cost of childcare. It is well documented that a mother’s level of education has important consequences for children. In addition, over 25 percent of California immigrants live in households where no one over the age of thirteen speaks English well.
“Helping people who want to work just makes sense for them and for California,” said Aguiar-Curry. “With the recent debate in our country over immigrants’ rights and the struggle people are having finding employment, I wanted my first bill to be one that would empower Californians to get the education needed to find a job.”
The bill is coauthored by Assemblymembers Caballero (D – Salinas) and Gloria (D – San Diego), and Senator Mendoza (D – Artesia), and currently awaits referral to its first policy committee.
Cecilia Aguiar-Curry represents California’s 4th Assembly District, which includes all of Colusa, Lake, Napa and Yolo Counties, Dixon in Solano County and Rohnert in Sonoma County. www.asm.ca.gov/aguiar-curry