Otto Von Bismarck is purported to have said, “Laws are like sausages; it is better not to see them being made.” Thankfully, in our representative democracy lawmaking is delegated to those with a passion for it.

For the past two years, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson has served as the cochair of the Women’s Caucus in Sacramento, leading a group of female legislators focused on issues that are important to women, children, and families.

Under her leadership, the Women’s Caucus has advocated for powerful changes in systems and increased services for children and families, and she was undeniably the leading voice in the Capitol for increased preschool spaces in the recent state budget.

There are currently 19,000 children age 0-5 in need of child care in Santa Barbara County. Only 10,155 licensed spaces exist. The disparity is worse for infants and toddlers — only 1,450 spaces exist to serve 9,000 children.

Imagine being a parent, facing the need to go back to work after the birth of your child, but having no child care options. I meet these parents, from all walks of life, all the time.

Working families need high-quality care in order to work. Children need it to support their growing brains and reach their potential later in life.

Thanks to Sen. Jackson, California will invest another $500 million by 2020 to support more high quality preschool spaces.

There is more work to do, and we are thankful for Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson’s leadership on behalf of children and families.

Ben Romo is executive director of First 5 Santa Barbara County.


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