Children's Budget Fiscal Year 2023-24: An Investment in Children's Well-Being

The County of Santa Clara is pleased to present its Children’s Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-24, which reflects the budget for children and youth-oriented programs as it was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on June 15, 2023.  In collaboration with community partners, the Children's Budget shows programs across the entire County that emphasize supporting the needs of our youth through four general categories of children's well-being:
  • Every Child Safe
  • Every Child Healthy
  • Every Child Successful in Learning
  • Every Child Successful in Life
The FY 2023-2024 Adopted Budget as a whole signifies a shift in the overall fiscal environment facing the County, resulting in a challenging year. Revenues from property taxes are not increasing at a rate that keeps pace with our cost increases. Revenues from federal and state subventions may become unstable. Nevertheless, in spite of fiscal constraints, the County’s commitment to children, youth, and families is unwavering. Therefore, while the overall County budget decreased year-over-year, monies allocated to programs supporting children, youth, and families increased 8.7%, from a total of $1.09 billion to $1.18 billion.  
To this end, the County would like to highlight substantial investment in three key programs through the FY 2023-24 Adopted Budget:
  • School-Based Wellness Center Grant Program
  • Childcare Expansion Grant Program
  • Homelessness Prevention System
The FY 2023-24 Adopted Budget allocates $5 million of one-time American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding and $5 million of one-time Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding to support the implementation of Wellness Centers on school campuses. The goal of this program is to increase access to mental health services for students with behavioral and emotional needs, promote mental health awareness, and support students in re-engaging with school following remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wellness Centers provide a designated physical space, with drop-in access to services and supports in coordination with the school’s other student supports. The Centers will be staffed by qualified mental health professionals who will work closely with school staff to provide youth with behavioral, social, and emotional support—providing early intervention for mental health needs. By increasing behavioral health services capacity on school campuses through the implementation of Wellness Centers, youth will be able to access the support they need in a timely and efficient manner, leading to improved outcomes for students and the overall school community.
On February 28, 2023, the Board of Supervisors approved $15 million in ARPA funding for a childcare expansion grant program with the goal of increasing families’ access to quality childcare across Santa Clara County. Grant funds will result in added classroom spaces, enhanced facilities, and successful hiring of childcare staff. The Office of Children and Family Policy (OCFP) is partnering with Valley Health Foundation to administer the grant program using equity-grounded outreach and a grant disbursement approach. Childcare expansion grants will support center- and family-based providers serving communities that were most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and whose businesses experienced childcare disruptions and enrollment gaps. Through its equity approach, the County expects grant funding to result in an increase in the total number of quality infant, toddler, and other childcare spaces available to families.
This program provides time-limited rental assistance and other financial assistance, as well as light case management, to families with children and individuals who are at imminent risk of becoming unhoused. The FY 2023-24 Budget allocated additional resources, fully offset by increased revenue from an agreement with the City of Santa Clara, thus increasing the availability of Homelessness Prevention Services for unhoused families and individuals, focused on current or former residents of the City of Santa Clara. Overall, the total investment in this program exceeds $17 million in FY 2023-24.
Based on the FY 2023-24 Adopted Budget, the County will spend approximately $1.18 billion on Children, Youth, and Family Programs. The County will receive approximately $954.4 million in funding from state, federal, and other sources for Children, Youth, and Family Programs in FY 2023-24, yielding a net cost to the County of approximately $226.3 million.
To put these numbers in context, the FY 2023-24 Adopted Budget authorizes spending of $10.67 billion, which means that approximately 11% of total County spending is for these types of programs. This amount of spending on Children, Youth, and Family Programs described in this Children’s Budget also understates the amount that the County spends on programs benefiting children and youth for another reason, which is because programs that benefit the general public and capital projects are both excluded from the definition.
Every child safe category reflects programs that address issues of food insecurity and hunger, children living in safe and stable families, and juvenile arrests.  The estimated spending for FY 2023-24 in this category is $660.3 million.
Every child healthy category comprises programs that address routine access to health care, healthy lifestyle, early social emotional development, a developmental asset.   The estimated spending for FY 2023-24 in this category is $491.3 million.
Every child successful in learning consists of programs that address school readiness, third grade reading proficiency, and middle school math proficiency.  The estimated spending for FY 2023-24 in this category is $18.1 million.
Every child successful in life entails programs that address high school graduation rates, children fluent in at least two languages, and youth feel valued by the community.  The estimated spending for FY 2023-24 in this category is $10.1 million.
For more information, visit FY 2023-24 Children's Budget.

Children's Budget for Fiscal Year 2023-2024