In November 2019, the California Health and Human Services Agency (CalHHS) engaged a team of researchers led by WestEd to develop a roadmap that put into action past recommendations and research about the benefits of quality early learning and care (ELC). The team was tasked with addressing five substantive, interrelated issue areas within California’s ELC system:
- Universal preschool
In December 2020, California released the governor’s Master Plan for Early Learning and Care: California for All Kids (Master Plan). The Master Plan encompasses research, policy, and practice to provide California with a roadmap for expanding equitable access to services and improving the quality of ELC.
The Master Plan has helped the state better understand the crisis families, children, and providers have faced amid and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. It also supports the state to identify key policy goals that will ensure all California’s children are able to thrive physically, emotionally, and educationally in their early years through access to high-quality ELC programs.
The Master Plan goals include universal preschool, enhanced workforce development and equitable career pathways for educators and caregivers, and funding reforms to promote equitable access to high-quality ELC opportunities.
The Master Plan for Early Learning and Care gratefully acknowledges the work of policymakers, providers, professionals, teachers, caregivers, researchers, and parents to elevate the needs and opportunities to support the development and learning of young children. We are especially grateful to the Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission for setting forth a transformative vision with recommendations that are a touchstone for the Master Plan, and the many other working groups and task forces that clarified problems and offered creative solutions.