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Crystal Stairs is the largest child development service
provider and advocate for families and child care
providers in South Los Angeles.


What We Do

Celebrating the Rich Influence of Black and Brown Artists at Crystal Stairs

At Crystal Stairs, Inc., our journey has been shaped by the profound impact of Black and Brown artists. From the very essence of our name, inspired by the Langston Hughes poem "Mother To Son," to the vibrant artwork commissioned from the celebrated Black female artist Synthia Saint James, these artists have left an indelible mark on our organization and the community we serve.

Synthia Saint James

In our commitment to embracing diverse artistic expressions and reflecting the strength of our community, we turned to Synthia Saint James, a trailblazing artist, to create a special piece of art for our organization. The artwork she produced features a vibrant community of Black and Brown individuals, parents, and children coming together in unity.

The urban and culturally vibrant colors used in the artwork align perfectly with the spirit of Synthia Saint James’s other renowned works. This powerful representation holds a cherished place in our Crystal Stairs, Inc. brand identity, symbolizing the essence of the community we serve and the harmonious collaboration that fuels our mission.

Langston Hughes

Our name, Crystal Stairs, Inc. reflects our perspective on life and embodies our aspirations for the future. Derived from the lines of Langston Hughes’s poem, we dream that every child’s life will be blessed with “crystal stairs,” symbolizing opportunities and a bright future. Hughes’s poignant words resonate deeply with our mission of empowering and supporting families across the South Los Angeles area.

Read full ‘Mother to Son’ poem

Building Community

for over 40 years

Today & Beyond!

Today at Crystal Stairs, Inc., we proudly carry forward a mission that began over four decades ago. We are fortunate to have the unwavering support of our legislative partners, including LA County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, as we work tirelessly to create a positive impact on child care in California. What started as the dream of two mothers has now grown into one of California's largest child care advocacy and resource referral organizations. We stand committed to helping our community reach new heights and aspirations.


Building Community

for over 40 years

A Network for African American Providers

Crystal Stairs CEO, Jackie B. Majors launches the African American Provider Network, a network designed to provide culturally centered support infrastructure for black ECE professionals. The network exceeds its three-year goal of recruiting 300 members in just nine months, which underscores the vital need of black providers that until now has not been addressed.


Building Community

for over 40 years

Continued Expansion and Social Impact

Crystal Stairs CEO, Jackie B. Majors is appointed to the California Commission on Children and Families and becomes Chair of the County of Los Angeles Policy Roundtable for Child Care and Development for 2019-2020. Crystal Stairs receives the Child Care Bridge Program contract which adds emergency child care support to foster parents and children.


Building Community

for over 40 years

Advocacy Victories

Crystal Stairs’ Community Voices hosts the 2nd Los Angeles County Annual Stand for Children Day on June 6 in Exposition Park. More than 500 children, parents, providers, child care advocates and elected officials gathered to show support for child care advocacy.


Building Community

for over 40 years

The Mission Expressed in Art

After CEO Holly J. Mitchell wins her Assembly seat, Jackie B. Majors succeeds as CEO. In 2011, her second year as CEO, Crystal Stairs commissions an art piece from renown artist Synthia Saint James, inspired by the mission and community of Crystal Stairs.


Building Community

for over 40 years

Community Voices Launches

CEO, Holly J. Mitchell launches Community Voices, a countywide advocacy program. Parents and providers are trained to become advocates for children and child care. Community Voices hosts the annual Stand for Children Day, and more than 300 children, parents, providers and advocates gathered to show support for child care advocacy.


Building Community

for over 40 years

New Leadership and Challenges

In 2003, after 23 years at the helm, Crystal Stairs co-founder, Dr. Alice Walker Duff, resigns as President and Holly J. Mitchell is named as Chief Executive Officer. Budget cuts threaten the elimination of CalWORKs Stage 3 child care services. Crystal Stairs takes an active role in rallies and advocacy to increase funding to ECE.


Building Community

for over 40 years

Growth and Recognition

Crystal Stairs hosts its third professional and personal child care development conference attracting over 1,000 child care providers and professionals to the Los Angeles Convention Center. Dr. Karen Hill-Scott and Dr. Alice Walker Duff are selected by the Los Angeles County Commission for Women as recipients of the 16th Annual Women of the Year Award.


Building Community

for over 40 years

Child Care Expansion

The 1990 National Child Care Study reveals infant and toddler care shortages. Child care services expand through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Crystal Stairs implements the grant in South Los Angeles, boosting funding and continuing to expand its efforts in the community.


Building Community

for over 40 years

Founding and Early Developments

In 1980, Dr. Karen Hill-Scott and Alice Walker Duff establish Crystal Stairs, Inc., recognizing the need for quality child care in inner cities. In the following decade, funding increases to ensure countywide child care access in California, and the Federal Family Support Act provides open-ended entitlement for child care, benefiting parents on welfare.


Crystal Stairs, Inc. Head Start Preschools

Crystal Stairs, Inc. Service Area

Meet our
Board of Directors

EVP and Chief Administrative Officer at Kilroy Realty Corporation, Board Chair of Crystal Stairs

Experienced Technology Leader, Vice Chair and Treasurer of the Board of Crystal Stairs

Office Managing Partner at Reed Smith LLP, Los Angeles, Secretary of the Board of Crystal Stairs

Senior Vice President, Live TV Content Programming & Partnerships at Hulu, Board Member of Crystal Stairs

Alecia Winfield is a Board Member of Crystal Stairs.

Stephen Roberts is a Board Member of Crystal Stairs.

Michael Thomas is a Board Member of Crystal Stairs.

Leslie Kelley is a Board Member of Crystal Stairs.

Meet Our Leadership Team

Jackie B. Majors


Ly Tanya Loughridge


Kendall Hirai


Lisa Morris


Sinthia Aruya


Join the Crystal Stairs Family

We’re proud to be at the forefront in providing innovative programs & services positively impacting the lives of over 40,000 families per year. Become part of the team of men and women who are making a difference and closing the poverty gap for children and families in Los Angeles County. View Open Positions here.


The strong, vibrant community we are proud to be a part of includes the team at the office. As an employer of choice, we value a collaborative, collegial, and friendly work environment.

Diversity & Inclusion

We are committed to building and sustaining a diverse workforce and culture. At Crystal Stairs, valuing differences means each staff member is appreciated for their own rich & unique background.


We believe passion for our community and for our work is the fuel that drives us. Join an organization with a mission and vision that can bring purpose, meaning, and fulfillment to your life.


Being of service to our community members is the cornerstone to great outcomes. We let respect, integrity, and collaboration lead us as we work with Providers, Families and our Partners.

Crystal Stairs Staff Diversity

“The amazing work relationships I’ve developed over the years keeps me going at Crystal Stairs. I’m very passionate about my role, and it is refreshing every day to come to work and see many others I work closely with share that same passion for our community as well.”

- Isaac Cox, Employee at Crystal Stairs, Inc.

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Artwork by Synthia Saint James