It is the intent of the Legislature that:
(a) All families have access to child care and development services, through resource and referral services, where appropriate, regardless of ethnic status, cultural background, or special needs. It is further the intent that subsidized child care and development services be provided to persons meeting the eligibility criteria established under this chapter to the extent funding is made available by the Legislature and Congress.
(b) The healthy physical, cognitive, social, and emotional growth and development of children be supported.
(c) Families achieve and maintain their personal, social, economic, and emotional stability through an opportunity to attain financial stability through employment, while maximizing growth and development of their children, and enhancing their parenting skills through participation in child care and development programs.
(d) Community-level coordination in support of child care and development services be encouraged.
(e) Families have a choice of programs that allow for maximum involvement in planning, implementation, operation, and evaluation of child care and development programs.
(f) Parents and families be fully informed of their rights and responsibilities to evaluate the quality and safety of child care programs, including, but not limited to, their right to inspect child care licensing files.
(g) Planning for expansion of child care and development programs be based on ongoing local needs assessments.
(h) The Superintendent of Public Instruction, in providing funding to child care and development agencies, promote a range of services which will allow parents the opportunity to choose the type of care most suited to their needs. The program scope may include the following:
(1) Programs located in centers, family day care homes, or in the child's own home.
(2) Services provided part-day, full-day, and during nonstandard hours including weekend care, night and shift care, before and after school care, and care during holidays and vacation.
(3) Child care services provided for infants, preschool, and schoolage children.
(i) The Superintendent of Public Instruction be responsible for the establishment of a public hearing process or other public input process that ensures the participation of those agencies directly affected by a particular section or sections of this chapter.
(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 823, Sec. 4.)