Head Start is Now a Part of the Crystal Stairs Family
August 1, 2012
Crystal Stairs, Inc. is proud to announce that we have been awarded a grant to operate Head Start child care programs for preschool children, ages 3 to 5 years, in Compton and South Los Angeles. This new endeavor will enable Crystal Stairs to deepen our relationships with parents and providers in communities throughout our service area that we have worked with for decades.
The Head Start program continues our family services mission to improve the lives of families through child care services, research, and advocacy. In 1980, Dr. Karen Hill Scott and Dr. Alice Walker Duff were deeply concerned about the lack of available, quality child care in the South Central Los Angeles area. As a result, they founded Crystal Stairs to help connect families with desperately needed child care services. High-quality early childhood care and education were, and remain, the collective vision of Crystal Stairs.
Since its inception, Crystal Stairs has been focused on improving both access and quality, and the Head Start program provides an excellent opportunity to influence both of these aspects of early child education. Crystal Stairs is both equipped and prepared for this next phase of direct services, ushering in a new era that will allow us to implement our family services mission, and most importantly to directly contribute to the preparation of a new generation of early learners.
- Dr. Karen Hill Scott, Founder/Board Chair
For more than three decades now, Crystal Stairs has ensured that families within our service area have had access to child care services by providing subsidized child care and supportive services to income-eligible families. Crystal Stairs assists parents in finding safe, affordable and quality child care so that they can seek or continue with work and educational opportunities, providing a pathway to move families towards self-sufficiency. Our work also involves providing training opportunities and best practices to child care providers to help them improve the quality of their programs, their relationships with their parents and the quality of care that they offer.
With the introduction of the Head Start program, Crystal Stairs will directly serve more than 800 preschoolers at 10 sites throughout Compton and South Los Angeles, including the communities of Athens, Watts and Willowbrook. Crystal Stairs currently serves parents and providers in these communities, and will deepen its services with this program expansion.
At a time when child care and supportive services for our most vulnerable families are under attack, the Head Start award is a testament to the quality programs delivered by Crystal Stairs. Building upon our 32-year history, Crystal Stairs remains a well-known community institution and this expansion positions us to make an even greater contribution in the areas of early child education, family self-sufficiency and overall community empowerment. We the board and staff are proud to have this vote of confidence in our efforts to serve the community.
- Jackie B. Majors, CEO
Should you have any questions about the Head Start program, please contact staff at 323.421.1100.
Crystal Stairs hosts major press conference to protest Governors elimination of child care funding. The Governors cuts mean that 6,600 children will lose child care in the community effective November 1, 2010
LOS ANGELES, CA - On Friday, October 15, 2010, Crystal Stairs hosted a major press conference to protest Governor Schwarzeneggers line item veto of Stage 3 child care funding for working families in his completion of the 2010-11 Budget. This single act destroys Californias 15 year investment in moving families from welfare to work and places thousands of California families on the unemployment and welfare rolls and leaves 17,000 children across the state without access to safe quality child care.
Hundreds of parents and providers attended the press conference in support of the message. Also in attendance were Senator Carol Liu, Assembly member Mike Davis, and executive directors from the other Los Angeles county child care agencies who will also be faced to terminate children and families.
It is unfortunate that we have to stand here today to respond to the offensive cuts made by Governor Schwarzenegger in his line item veto last Friday, said Holly J. Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of Crystal Stairs. But we have to, because as of November 1st, thousands of children and working parents will be forced off a cliff and into an abyss of unemployment and possible child endangerment. This Governor ran on a platform of saving and protecting children. But his complete elimination of Stage 3 child care funding does everything but save and protect children. His cuts harm families. His cuts harm children. And his cuts harm businesses.
The immediate impacts of these cuts are disastrous and will include:
6,600 children in the Crystal Stairs service area will lose access to child care, effective November 1, 2010, placing them in serious danger
Placing roughly 12,000 families who are currently working, paying taxes and contributing to Los Angeles struggling economy will be forced to make difficult decisions between caring for their children or maintaining their employment. 3,500 of these families are served by Crystal Stairs
6,000 providers, including licensed family child care homes and child care centers throughout the state will lose payment for services placing their businesses, already hard hit by Los Angeles struggling economy at risk of closure. 2,700 of these providers are contracted with Crystal Stairs
$1.2 billion dollars of economic input will be lost to Los Angeles County annually
Child care providers are already struggling with high vacancy rates due to the 12.6% local unemployment rate for Los Angeles County. The loss of an additional 17,000 children from these programs will place many licensed child care programs in very difficult financial positions and potential closure.
Further, these cuts will have a ripple effect of employers losing employees who are no longer able to come to work, closure of already struggling child care businesses which will impact all working families who depend upon child care services to go to work.
For more information on the cuts and to see if you or someone you know may be impacted, please call (323) 299-8998.