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First 5 LA and California Community Foundation Partner To Help Child Care Centers Serving Low-Income Children

LOS ANGELES-------Quality child care is important to every working parent. That's why First 5 LA and the California Community Foundation have initiated an innovative partnership to help state funded child care centers address delays in the disbursement of state funds to child care providers serving low-income children in Los Angeles County.

Access to these temporary funds from the two organizations helps prevent local child care providers from taking extreme measures that reduce or eliminate services to hundreds of families in L.A. County, and jeopardize employment for parents and child care staff.

Agencies receiving bridge funding report that the availability of these temporary funds allowed them to continue providing critical services to approximately 2,200 children ages 0-5, and helped retain 1,700 parent jobs and 450 center staff positions.

"Working together with the California Community Foundation to provide temporary funds for child-care facilities is a critical component of maintaining access to needed services and building economically stable communities in Los Angeles County," said Kim Belshé, executive director of First 5 LA.

To date, over $1.8 million has been awarded to nine organizations countywide, with no defaults. These initial recoverable grants targeted non-profit, centerbased California Department of Education-funded contractors. The recoverable grants are zero interest, may cover up to two or more months of a contractor's apportionment depending on the specific situation for the delays in contracted state funds. Grants were repayable within three business days of receiving payment from the state, unless otherwise negotiated. The following organizations received loans:

  • Around the Korner, Inc.
  • California Children's Academy
  • Comprehensive Child Development
  • Covina Development Center
  • Girls Club of Los Angeles
  • Heavenly Vision Educational Center
  • Pathways LA
  • The Children's Center, Inc.
  • The Children's Collective, Inc.

"We are very pleased with the success of our partnership with First 5 LA and with the first round of these awards," said Antonia Hernández, president & CEO of the California Community Foundation. "Without reliable child care, many hard-working parents in lowincome households may lose their jobs altogether, forcing their families back into poverty and depriving their children of quality care, preschool and other crucial early learning opportunities."

Now that the fund is fully operational, First 5 LA, CCF and the Low Income Investment Fund -- which administers and provides technical support for the program-will also be in partnership with the L.A. County Office of Child Care to identify recurring cash flow issues along with those policies which cause the delays. In addition, the group will be developing a strategy to increase visibility of these issues and mobilize support for child care providers among the broader early childhood funding community. For more information about the grants contact Joyce Robinson, program officer with the Low Income Investment Fund at [email protected] or 213-627-2394.

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