Strong Majorities of San Diego Voters Want California’s Next Governor to Invest in Early Childhood Care and Education

Press Release from The San Diego Foundation

SAN DIEGO, CA – Strong majorities of San Diego voters support greater investments in programs that benefit California’s youngest children and would favor a candidate for governor who pledges to create a system of high-quality, publicly funded childcare and preschool programs. These are among the key findings from a survey released today by the San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) in partnership with The San Diego Foundation and Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Choose Children 2018 campaign.

Nearly nine in 10 (86.5%) San Diego voters say it is important for California’s next governor to support more investments in programs that benefit young children, with 61.3% believing such support is very important. A supermajority of 69% would support a gubernatorial candidate who pledges support for early childhood care and education (ECE).

“Voters clearly understand what years of research show: investments in high-quality early childhood programs pay off for those children and their families, our San Diego region, and the state of California,” said Kathlyn Mead, President and CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “San Diego voters are saying loud and clear now is the time for California to invest in programs that will prepare our youngest children for success in school and ensure our region and state has the highly trained workforce it will need in decades to come.”

Voter support is deeply rooted and shared across political party affiliation, ethnicity, gender and age groups. Nearly 88% (87.8%) of Democrats favor a candidate for governor who wants to create a high-quality early childhood care and education system, as do 75.2% of independents and 41.7% of Republicans. Further, 85.7% of African- Americans, 83% of Latinos, 80% of Asian and 65.8% of white voters all support ECE spending.

In addition, voters view early childhood education as a priority compared to other top issues facing the state. Nearly eight in 10 (79.5%) identified the cost of healthcare, 76.3% the state of K-12 and college education, 68.5% early childhood education and 66% early childhood healthcare as highest priority issues for the state.

San Diego voters also expressed strong support for local government to do more for kids. After affordable housing, early childhood and youth supports were the highest priorities among all issues for new investment by San Diego County. When asked how we should fund these new investments in children, more than 70% (70.1%) of voters said they would like to see local funds raised through a tax on marijuana product sales and licensing fees. More than 80% (80.3%) support a similar tax at the state level.

“Voters across our county, old and young, rich and poor, Democrat, Republican and independent all share a common desire: more support for young children and their families,” said Laura Kohn, Director of the Center for Low Income Mobility (CLIMB) at SDWP. “Early childhood care and education is a unifying issue, and the results of this survey make it very clear that those candidates running for governor need to have detailed and specific plans for how to build a strong early childhood system in California and local candidates should attend to these issues as well.”

The poll surveyed 400 San Diego voters, and was completed as part of a statewide survey conducted by the Choose Children 2018 campaign. For full statewide results, please visit www.choosechildren.org.

About the Poll

GrassrootsLab and Tulchin Research conducted the survey from Friday, July 7 through Saturday, July 15, 2017. Four hundred (400) respondents were interviewed using live, professional interviewers, speaking Spanish and English languages and calling both mobile and landlines (61.5% of this survey was completed on mobile phones). A survey of this size yields a margin of error of +/- 4.9% (95% confidence interval). The sample is stratified, meaning that the demographic composition of the results matches the demographic composition of the state’s voting population.

About the San Diego Workforce Partnership

SDWP is the leader for innovative workforce solutions in San Diego County. It funds and delivers job training programs that enable adults and youth to develop the skills and knowledge needed for in-demand careers. SDWP also provides ongoing labor market research on the region’s workforce trends and key industries. Its vision is to ensure that every business in our region has access to a skilled workforce and every job seeker has access to meaningful employment. For more information, visit workforce.org.

About The San Diego Foundation

The San Diego Foundation maximizes the impact of your charitable giving. We mobilize philanthropic resources to advance quality of life, increase social impact and champion civic engagement. For more than 42 years, The Foundation and our donors have granted more than $1 billion to grow a vibrant San Diego region. Learn more at SDFoundation.org.

About Choose Children 2018

Choose Children 2018 is a statewide campaign committed to ensuring California’s next governor is a champion for young children who makes early childhood care and education more accessible, affordable, and of higher quality. The initiative is led by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Center for Early Learning in partnership with community, business, philanthropic, and educational leaders throughout California. Learn more at www.choosechildren.org.