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California bill declares all children have a basic right to quality education, healthcare and social services

State Sen. Richard Pan on Monday said all California children should have a basic right to quality childcare, early education and health and dental services no matter where they live or the income of their parents.

At a news conference held in the playground of the Discovery Tree School, the pediatrician and Sacramento Democrat unveiled the Children’s Bill of Rights , stating all children have the right to live in a just, safe, healthy and supportive society.

The proposal, sponsored by Common Sense Kids Action, states the Legislature's intent to expand and formalize the rights of children and to work on legislation that aims to help families provide and care for their children.

No other state in the nation has established the rights of children to have their basic needs met. In California, parents, school officials and lawmakers have sought to build a consensus centered on the issue since 2009.

Parents scored a victory last legislative session when Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill expanding California’s pioneering family-leave law.

But the Legislature has made little headway in building a coordinated effort. Parents and school officials said the children's bill of rights is a step in that direction.

Pan and organizers will be holding town hall meetings statewide to ensure that the bill addresses crucial issues such as access to high-quality childcare, early childhood education and paid family leave.

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