LOS ANGELES – Today, Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian introduced a new proposal to explore expanding child care and early childhood education programs throughout the City of Los Angeles. The motion directs departments to study the City’s current state-licensed child care program and report back on options to scale them in every Council District.
"When Los Angeles was facing severe budget cutbacks in the aftermath of the Great Recession, one of the most important services gravely impacted was the child care and early education programs in our parks," said Councilmember Paul Krekorian. "It had a devastating effect on so many working families in Los Angeles who need access to high-quality child care in order to pursue their employment, education and provide an opportunity for their children to thrive. With the recession behind us and the City's finances in better shape, we need to begin restoring and expanding these services across the City.”
The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) offered licensed child care programs at 26 facilities throughout the City with the assistance of funding from the California Department of Education. With the onset of the Great Recession, programs faced drastic cuts as a result of shrinking city and state budgets. Currently, RAP offers state-licensed child care programs at only two facilities.
In Los Angeles County, the cost of child care and early education is more expensive than Cal State tuition. For the 650,000 children under the age of five in the County, licensed facilities have the capacity to serve only 13% of working parents with infants and toddlers.
“Throughout Los Angeles, working families are struggling to find quality child care, especially for infants and toddlers," said Kim Belshé, Executive Director of First 5 LA. "Quality child care enables our children to learn and our parents to earn the income necessary to support the whole family. We commend Councilmember Krekorian for lifting up LA’s alarming child care shortages and for setting the City of Los Angeles on a path to better serve its children and families.”
"This is an important step in supporting Los Angeles families through increasing childcare services and early education programs," said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez. "This conversation builds upon our current efforts in developing a citywide youth development strategy and helping our youth reach their full potential."
Krekorian’s proposal also asks City departments to analyze ballot initiatives to establish a children’s fund and look at other potential funding sources to expand programming, including from the state, public-private partnerships, and other support.
The motion will be discussed by the City Council’s Economic Development and Health, Education Neighborhood, Parks, Arts & River committees in the coming weeks.
Click here to read the motion: http://bit.ly/2Tjsokj