Budget negotiations will begin soon, and many of California's female lawmakers want to make sure the state's spending plan does a better job of helping women and children.
Members of the California Legislative Women's Caucus say now that the economy is recovering, it's important women and children aren't left behind.
Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal says early childhood education keeps California women working and children learning.
"The evidence is clear," she stresses. "Access to quality early childhood education contributes to children's well being, brain development, and school readiness.
"It provides a strong foundation for opportunity through a child's lifetime."
The Women's Caucus wants more funding for child care so women can start and keep working, higher quality early childhood education, and more access to state preschool for the lowest income children.
The caucus also wants fair pay for early care and education providers, many of whom are women such as Pamela Sharps, who provides day care for eight families.
She says quality child care helps boost women out of poverty by allowing them to go to work knowing their children are in good care.
"Our child care centers in low income communities are consistent and safe places that our children need when the neighborhoods around them are constantly falling apart," she says.
The Women's Caucus wants the revised state budget to include funding to increase providers' reimbursements rates, which have been frozen since 2007.
Caucus members say without the increase, child care providers may be forced to close their businesses, leaving California with a lack of providers.