Child Care Subsidies Saved by PC's Early Care & Education Law Project

Catherine Lhamon, Directing Attorney of Public Counsel's Impact Litigation Project, and Pam Schmidt, Directing Attorney of Public Counsel's Early Care and Education Law Project (ECE), worked tirelessly with a team of lawyers from Child Care Law CenterPublic Interest Law ProjectWestern Center on Law & Poverty, Neighborhood Legal Services, and LAFLA to challenge Governor Schwarzenegger's veto of funding for CalWORKS Stage 3 childcare services.  This program provides families with subsidized child care, allowing the parents to continue to work and stay off of welfare. If left unchallenged, the Governor's veto would have resulted in approximately 30,000 families state wide abruptly losing their child care with little notice or time to find alternative solutions, including accessing other available low cost child care.  On behalf of Parent Voices Oakland, Jennifer Johnston, Tina Terrazas, Hawa Massaley and Brandie Brownlee, this coalition of public interest lawyers filed a lawsuit against the State and obtained a temporary restraining order blocking the cuts.  Thereafter, the State agreed to fund the child care programs through the end of the year and to work with these families to see if they qualified for other child care programs.  Advocacy groups, including Public Counsel, are supporting efforts by the Legislature to immediately restore these budget cuts when it resumes in January.