SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) introduced Assembly Bill 324, the “Childcare Professional Development Act.” This bill will provide expanded childcare workforce development grants to new providers, so that our state has the capacity to administer a higher level of care to an increased number of children.
“For the third year in a row, I will fight for high-quality, affordable childcare in California,” said Aguiar-Curry. “My bill, AB 324, will ensure that our kids and families can access early education programs by empowering new providers to enter the system and encouraging existing teachers to continue learning. We now know that the job of education starts on day one. Training and retaining qualified, committed professionals is critical to our children’s future.”
AB 324 requires the California Department of Education to develop guidelines for a standardized, effective, and organized professional development and retention system for childcare professionals. These guidelines expand eligibility in the program, link stipends to a teacher’s higher education attainment plan, and ensure that stipend amounts are sufficient to recruit and retain a high-quality, diverse childcare education workforce.
“AB 324 will help build a strong foundation for the early care and education system, by supporting the heart and soul of every early learning and care setting—the teacher,” said Camille Maben, Executive Director of First 5 California. “Supporting our workforce to provide quality programs in all settings works to prevent the achievement gap and helps prepare children to be ‘learning ready’ for kindergarten.”
“I am thrilled to continue my work with First 5 California on this important legislation,” said Aguiar-Curry. “Investing in our childcare workforce means more jobs, better outcomes for our youth, and new support for parents. Stronger families mean a stronger California.”
AB 324 has been introduced and is pending referral to its first Assembly policy committee for a hearing in the Spring.
Aguiar-Curry represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all of Lake and Napa Counties, parts of Colusa, Solano and Sonoma Counties, and all of Yolo County except West Sacramento.