California Health and Human Services

Master Plan for Early Learning and Care

NEW Resource: Early Learning & Care Guidebook

COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions are easing. Essential workers and families continue to need child care and more families are returning to work outside the home. Many providers have stayed open, others are considering reopening or being asked to serve additional children. California’s children can continue their healthy development and learning when parents and providers follow the safety guidelines and resources on this website. You will find all up-to-date guidance and resources to create a safe and nurturing early learning and care environment for children and providers.

Early Learning and Care Playbook Logo Text


The stroller is California’s first vehicle for upward mobility—it’s time to push early learning and care forward to help families grow their children stronger. High-quality early learning and care is the first step toward increasing achievement, maximizing state investments in education, health, and workforce development—and lifting families out of poverty. California For All Kids is the state’s effort to develop a comprehensive Master Plan for Early Learning and Care that can be implemented and sustained for the benefit of all children and families. From parent perspectives, community organizing, curriculum, equitable access, social justice, financing, and policy—California For All Kids brings the best of what experts in the state know and combines it with listening to the needs of parents and communities. This will help California plan a system that works from the ground up and empowers parents to develop children capable of seizing opportunities in school, career, and life.

*NOTE: The Master Plan for Early Learning and Care (MPELC) original release date was October 2020. However, due to a pause on MPELC activities to focus on COVID-19 response efforts, the MPELC will be released December 2020.

Plan Development

Priority areas in the Master Plan include options and actionable plans for a fiscal framework, facilities, access, quality, and universal prekindergarten. These issues are being examined through a series of specific policy-relevant scenarios, determined in consultation with CHHS and other stakeholders, including current proposals for ELC expansion advanced by the Governor or the Legislature. Each policy scenario starts with assumptions about what constitutes high-quality early learning and care, and where incremental subsidies should be applied across the economic spectrum for those who cannot afford access to needed services. 


Five study areas represent the persistent barriers in our current early childhood system: Finance, Facilities, Access, Quality, and Universal Pre-K. California For All Kids surveys existing research and recommendations in each of these areas, fills in gaps and makes recommendations, integrating individual findings into a comprehensive plan. Findings in each study area will be posted at the links below as they are available:

  • Finance
  • Access
  • Facilities
  • Quality
  • UPK


Tell us what you would like to see in the Master Plan to provide a healthy start for all California children:

For questions and inquiries, please contact


Early Childhood Policy Council Presentation — March 16, 2020

Preschool Development Grant Renewal Presentation — March 16, 2020

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