On Monday, the Legislature sent the governor a budget that includes $409 million in additional funding for early care and education in 2015-16 and $596 million for early care and education for 2016-17.

In response, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, which advocated for additional child care funding this year, released the following statement:

“Our youngest learners and their working parents are winners in the budget the Legislature passed today. By investing significantly in early care and education, we keep children learning and parents working, and are rebuilding important programs that were decimated by budget cuts during the recession.

“This is a wise and careful down payment in the critical early years of children’s lives. We urge the governor to join us in recognizing the importance of these programs for preventing costly academic interventions in the future and building a foundation for a child’s success in school.”

— Lisa Gardiner is the communications director for state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.