Alameda Measure A: Childcare, early education and a half-cent sales tax | KALW

Alameda Measure A: Childcare, early education and a half-cent sales tax

May 22, 2018

Correction: In a previous version of this post, we miswrote the average cost of infant care in California. The average cost of infant care and Preschool in California is about $1000 a month and $700 a month, not $1000 and $700 a year. We have removed the audio and will upload it again when it is correct. 

Alameda County’s Measure A is about childcare and early education. Research shows that key brain development takes place during the first five years of life.  

But the average cost of infant care in California is about $1000 a month, and Preschool for a four-year-old costs about $700 a month.

Lots of families can’t afford that. Some spend years on waiting lists for state subsidies. And that means kids are showing up for kindergarten unprepared.

Measure A aims to close some of those gaps, by channeling $140 million a year to childcare and early childhood education — for three decades.

It would do that through a half cent sales tax increase. Two-thirds of voters need to say yes for it to pass.

The County Board of Supervisors put Measure A on the ballot. The revenue would go to expanding access to childcare and preschool for low-and middle-income families, and to helping homeless and at-risk children.

It would also boost pay for childcare workers, and add thousands of childcare slots throughout the county.

SUPPORTERS

Measure A supporters have raised about $1 million to get it passed. They include doctors, nurses, teachers, parents and child care workers.

The biggest financial backers are the East Bay Community Foundation, Service Employees International Union and Kaiser Permanente.

A couple of individuals have kicked in with large contributions too: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff gave $150,000 and the South Bay’s Liz Simons contributed $100,000. She’s a former educator and longtime education advocate.

OPPONENTS

The only official opponent is an Alameda County resident and taxpayer who wants tighter oversight of sales-tax revenue spending.

YOUR VOTE

So vote yes on Measure A if you want revenue from a half cent Alameda County sales tax hike to go to childcare and early education for the next 30 years.

Vote no if you’re against a tax increase or how the revenues would be spent.