June 19, 2018
The Honorable Scott Wiener
Chair, Senate Committee on Human Services
1020 N Street, Room 521
Sacramento, California 95814
RE: AB 2698 (Rubio) California state preschool programs: general child care and development programs: mental health consultation services: adjustment factors
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Chair Wiener,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, strongly supports proposed legislation AB 2698 (Rubio) to authorize providers to utilize existing subsidized child care funds to provide mental health consultations.
California experiences expulsion rates among pre-K students higher than the national average. These rates affect children of color disproportionately. According to the ACLU, harsh disciplinary policies push students into the juvenile justice system with suspensions and expulsions as the beginning of a cycle that can lead to disengagement and drop-outs. Many very young children experience clinically significant mental health problems that can be addressed effectively. Issues that could send a child into the school to prison pipeline can be addressed before they become a persistent problem. Unfortunately, resources are lacking for providers to undertake early childhood mental health consultations.
AB 2698 (Rubio) would authorize the use of existing subsidized child care funds for mental health consultations, making it more likely that those consultations could be performed, keeping more children in school and making classrooms more effective for all students.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 statewide strongly support proposed legislation AB 2698 (Rubio) and urge you to vote AYE. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Members of the Senate Committee on Human Services
Honorable Blanca Rubio, Author
AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne