Policy brief

California's Pioneering Training and Retention Initiatives for Early Childhood Educators

Lessons from San Francisco and Alameda Counties
Kyra N. Caspary
SRI Education

California’s public investment in early care and education programs has quadrupled since 1996, rising to almost $3.2 billion annually in the 2000 fiscal year. This sharp climb in political will to expand and improve the quality of childcare has several explanations.

First, the steadily climbing employment rate for mothers with preschool-age children—rising from 15 percent in 1950 to over two-thirds in 1997 nationally—has sparked enormous demand for a variety of childcare providers and organizations.

Second, federal and state governments, recognizing the potential influence of quality childcare programs in boosting child development and school readiness, have invested heavily in preschool and center-based programs over the past decade, moving beyond Washington’s historical investment in Head Start.

Third, the implementation of welfare-to-work programs, and the public philosophy that single mothers must work if they are to remain eligible for public assistance, has further bolstered government investments to expand and improve public childcare.

Suggested citationCaspary, K. (2002, May). California's pioneering training and retention initiatives for early childhood educators: Lessons from San Francisco and Alameda counties [Policy brief]. Policy Analysis for California Education. https://edpolicyinca.org/publications/californias-pioneering-training-and-retention-initiatives-early-childhood-educators