LOS ANGELES – In his State of the City Address, Mayor Eric Garcetti set Los Angeles on a path to eliminate the school readiness gap for the most vulnerable children in Los Angeles and strengthen the early childhood education workforce. Specifically, the Mayor is making a commitment to recruit, train and certify 2,500 new early childhood educators by 2025.

This effort builds upon Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed state budget for FY19-20 which, if approved, would direct hundreds of millions of dollars directly to providers, families, and agencies in L.A. County to boost early childhood priorities, including home visiting, developmental screening and early learning.

First 5 LA Executive Director Kim Belshé also applauded the Mayor for complementing the efforts of City Council Member Paul Krekorian and his proposal to expand child care and early childhood education programs throughout the City of Los Angeles.

Please see the statement below for Belshé’s reaction to the Mayor’s proposal:

“Every child, from the moment they are born, has the right to opportunities that will help them reach their fullest potential. To echo Mayor Garcetti, early education can’t be a luxury only for those who can afford it. Focusing on the early years to increase the school readiness of all of our young children is pivotal to their life-long development; to achieve this we need strong investment and support for a workforce which provides quality care and support for our early learners.”

“Developmental disparities emerge as early as nine months and can double by the time children are two. And, we know children who start kindergarten behind – disproportionately low income, children of color and dual language learners – tend to stay behind. Such inequities are unjust and have long-term implications on our children.”

“I applaud the Mayor for his commitment to wipe out the school readiness gap for our most vulnerable children and to develop a highly trained workforce of early childhood educators to meet the needs of every child in Los Angeles. We stand ready to help the Mayor, City Council members and County Supervisors continue to prioritize young children in budget and policy decisions.”