February 27, 2017
The Honorable Cecilia Aguiar-Curry
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0004
Fax: (916) 319-2104
RE: AB 273 (Aguiar-Curry): Child care services: eligibility
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry:
I am writing on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, to let you know that we strongly support your proposed legislation: AB 273 (Aguiar-Curry). This bill would make low-income parents eligible for state child care services if they are engaged in educational programs for English as a second language, or to obtain a high school diploma or GED.
Parenting is already challenging enough, but it’s far more challenging for those who do not speak English proficiently or hold a high school degree. Most jobs that pay well enough to support a family will require both, and it is far harder to manage everyday interactions without a command of the English language. As a non-proficient English speaker, navigating pediatrician’s visits, parent-teacher conferences, and other important parenting responsibilities can be especially difficult, and more so in areas where there are few speakers of the parent’s native language. However, parents who wish to further their education often cannot for lack of accessible childcare. Many low-income parents thus find themselves stuck in a difficult situation.
AB 273 (Aguiar-Curry) would help parents who want to return to school—and, by extension, their children—by providing state-subsidized child care to low-income Californians who enroll in ESL classes or classes to obtain their high school diploma or GED. These parents would thus be able to fully focus on their studies, rather than having to rely on relatives and cheap, possibly substandard childcare services to create patchwork childcare plans. Their children would benefit from safe, high-quality childcare and parents who are able to find jobs that pay them a living wage and enable them to spend time with their family.
Pediatricians across the state support AB 273 (Aguiar-Curry). We thank you for your leadership on behalf of the health and well-being of children, youth, and families in California.
Adam Braddock, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
State Government Affairs Committee, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
CC: Kris Calvin, CEO; AAP-CA Leadership; Lydia Bourne