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A Barrier Removed for Low-income Parents Seeking Education

October 18, 2017
Priska Needy

There’s a new law on the books in California that will remove a barrier for low-income parents aiming to access education. Under a bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last week, poor parents enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) or high school equivalency courses will be eligible for subsidized child care.

California’s existing education code said parents who meet certain income criteria and are “engaged in vocational training leading directly to a recognized trade” could receive subsidized child care. Even though parents may need ESL or G.E.D. classes as a prerequisite, the law was not clear on whether those courses qualified.

“This law was being unevenly implemented across the state,” said Jennifer Greppi, lead organizer for Parent Voices, California. “Some [child care] agencies saw it very clearly as a step towards a vocational training or goal. Others were like, ‘Nope! Those don’t count.’ “