Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 275, authored by Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord), which allows for greater use of technology to streamline California’s early childhood education delivery system.
The following information is from the Office of Assemblywoman Bonilla:
“Early child education providers have been calling for upgrades to bring our payment system into the 21st century, reduce government bureaucracy, and make these important services more cost-effective,” said Assemblywoman Bonilla. “AB 274 makes improvements to the state’s child development system so that providers can target scarce resources towards serving needy families instead of filling out paperwork.”
Currently, no statutes authorize the use of technology for child care and early education contractors. Instead, they are relegated to using outdated systems to comply with their contracts. For example, each month the State Controller’s Office mails thousands of checks to child care providers, rather than using direct deposit. This can result in delayed or lost payments.
This new law will allow child care providers to be paid via direct deposit, a practice which is common among many state agencies. It will also simplify attendance sheet requirements by allowing for monthly verification of care, instead of daily. And finally, AB 274 allows for the electronic storage of files. Current regulations require child care contractors to keep paper copies of family case files for five years. This results in hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent just on storage.
“Assemblywoman Bonilla is a wonderful champion for children and families,” said Kate Ertz-Berger, Executive Director, Contra Costa Child Care Council. “AB 274 will help us better and more efficiently serve the child care needs of families in Contra Costa County.”
AB 274 is the result of multiple hearings chaired by Assemblywoman Bonilla with her Select Committee on High Quality Early Childhood Education.
The bill is supported by early child education providers and related organizations, including the Solano Family & Children’s Services, Contra Costa Child Care Council, California Alternative Payment Program Association, and Northern Directors Group.