PRESS RELEASE: State and City Leaders Urge Full Funding of Child Care Programs in California

LOS ANGELES - City Councilmember David Ryu and California State Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager of the 54th District joined Pathways LA, a nonprofit leader in accessible child care, to call on Governor Newsom to fully fund child care programming in the State budget. In a press conference today, the leaders also urged essential workers to take advantage of free child care during the coronavirus pandemic, and for affordable and accessible child care to be a priority at every level of government.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  

June 22, 2020

Press Contacts:

Councilmember Ryu: Mark Pampanin | mark.pampanin@lacity.org | (213) 407-7616

Assemblymember Kamlager: Alina Evans | alina.evans@asm.ca.gov | (831) 331-8468

Pathways LA: Jason Harris | jharris@pathwaysla.org | (213) 427-2700

 

State and City Leaders Urge Full Funding of Child Care Programs in California

LOS ANGELES - City Councilmember David Ryu and California State Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager of the 54th District joined Pathways LA, a nonprofit leader in accessible child care, to call on Governor Newsom to fully fund child care programming in the State budget. In a press conference today, the leaders also urged essential workers to take advantage of free child care during the coronavirus pandemic, and for affordable and accessible child care to be a priority at every level of government.

"Lack of free and affordable access to child care is an economic justice issue,” Assemblymember Kamlager said. “We must remember single parents who work two jobs to make ends meet for their family. We must think about students who need child care so that they can finish school and have access to better paying jobs. We must prioritize our essential workers who are parents and who are keeping us afloat in this pandemic. Accessible and reliable care is critical to keep California working and children learning."

“An economy that does not include affordable and accessible child care is an unjust economy,” Councilmember Ryu said. “This pandemic has only made matters worse, shutting down child care centers and pushing working families even further behind. Every essential worker in California should take advantage of the free child care that is currently available - and every level of government should work to protect and expand child care resources.

The conference was also led by Jessie Salazar, Executive Director of Pathways LA, a Los Angeles nonprofit founded in 1978 which works to ensure that all children have access to quality child care. Pathways LA is connecting essential workers in Los Angeles with free child care, made possible during the pandemic by Governor Gavin Newsom, who announced a $100 million fund to provide the service in April. This funding, originally set to expire July 1, has recently been extended.

“For too many, disenfranchisement begins at birth,” Salazar said. “It’s critical that we offer families from disadvantaged communities the high-quality child care they need, and that young children receive the corresponding lifelong benefits. During the current health crisis we need to ensure that essential workers have access to childcare, as well as remember that the childcare industry itself is essential and needs government support to weather this storm.”

Ryu, Kamlager and Salazar urged Governor Newsom to sign on to the State Legislature’s budget, which rejects cuts to education, including a 10% cut to child care programs that support low-income families. 

Nearly 40% of child care centers in Los Angeles have shut down since the start of the pandemic, and without continued funding, those closures could become permanent. According to the Center for American Progress, 4.5 million child care slots - nearly half of those available - could permanently disappear nationwide without significant financial support due to the pandemic.

Supporting the child care industry is not only essential to providing economic opportunity for working families, but for child care providers, most of whom are women of color. On the federal level, Massachusetts Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-5) has introduced the Child Care is Infrastructure Act to provide $10 billion over five years to child care facilities across the U.S. 

Here in Los Angeles, Councilmember Ryu and Assemblymember Kamlager say future investment in child care is needed to build a just and equitable economy.

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Assistant City Council President Pro Tempore David E. Ryu represents Los Angeles’ 4th Council District which includes Griffith Park, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and portions of Koreatown and Van Nuys. 


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