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Professional Association For Childhood Education (PACE) Views Governor Brown's Budget With "Cautious Optimism"

Continued Pressure Needed to Ensure Adequate Funding

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The cuts to child care since 2008 has resulted in over 110,000 children losing child care and early learning opportunities. Our fellow Californians understand that the foundation for future successful learning begins very early in a child's life with good care and education. So should our legislators.

Funding for California's education presented by Governor Brown on January 10, 2013, will help stabilize education services throughout the state.

The Professional Association for Childhood Education (PACE), an early education advocacy  group, is looking forward to more assurances of the Governor's commitment to education in the weeks and months ahead as the legislature debates his proposed 2013-14 budget and in his upcoming State of the Union Address. As the details of the proposed state budget are de-mystified, PACE remains cautiously optimistic regarding restored funding.

Sixty-four percent of California's children have working parents, but just 25% have access to licensed child care. A majority of early care and education is supplied by licensed, quality private providers. Every legislator must be made aware that restoring early child care and education funding should be part of the discussion.

" California has long upheld the premise that children deserve to start life with a strong educational foothold in order to learn and thrive," notes Gina Ayllon, PACE's executive director. "Last week, the Governor proposed a level of funding for California education that gives more control to local communities and strengthens educational services for low-income residents. This commitment reflects the will of the people (as evidenced by the passage of Proposition 30 in November). It will supplement the K-12 system and provide the state's youngest and neediest children with vital safety nets that can make the difference between future success and failure."

"A concentrated and appropriately-funded focus on early education is imperative for our state's and the country's future. For every dollar spent on early childhood development, we avoid seven dollars spent later on welfare, unemployment and/or imprisonment, according to the Child Development Policy Institute," adds Ayllon.

As Martine Singer, president and chief executive officer of Para Los Ninos in Los Angeles, explains, "Nowhere would the classic mistake of being penny-wise and pound-foolish be more obvious than if Californians failed to adequately fund early child care and education. It's crucial that California leaders restore and expand the education budget, so we can recover from the drastic cuts of recent years. The small investment in education that we make as early as possible in a child's life pays off in a big way for generations to come."

Governor Brown's proposed 2013-14 budget is currently being reviewed by the state legislature. A revised plan is due to be released in May, with a final version expected before the start of the new fiscal year in July.

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