Improving San Diego's Child Care Services

Date: September 26, 2000
To: Board of Supervisors
Subject: Improving San Diego's Child Care Services

Summary:
Since the passage of welfare reform in 1996, San Diego County has moved 38,000 families from welfare to work, saving taxpayers nearly $500 million. With that has come a huge increase in the demand for quality child care in this region. Child care workers provide one of the most critical services - caring for this region's young people while their parents are at work. It is critical that these caregivers are provided every opportunity to better their skills and learn more about the health and safety of kids in their facilities. Today's action, will make this possible by creating a mobile training van as well as use existing mobile resources to disseminate valuable information and training.

Recommendation:
Chairwoman Dianne Jacob

Direct the CAO to explore the establishment of a mobile van that will provide on-site training and voluntary health screenings at local child care centers, including those working with children who have special needs, and coordinate these efforts with existing mobile service providers and report back to the Board of Supervisors in 60 days.

Fiscal Impact:

There is no fiscal impact associated with this action. Background:

Since the passage of welfare reform in 1996, San Diego County has moved 38,000 families from welfare to work, saving taxpayers nearly $500 million. With that has come a huge increase in the demand for quality child care in this region.

This past January, in my State of the County Address, I set as a priority the need to create more opportunities to enhance child care in San Diego County. Child care workers provide one of the most critical services - caring for this region's young people while their parents are at work. It is critical that these caregivers are provided every opportunity to better their skills and learn more about the health and safety of kids in their facilities.

One way to improve these opportunities for child care workers is to make child care training more accessible. What better way to make this training more accessible than to take the training directly to them? By creating a mobile van that will visit child care centers to provide on-site assistance and access to training programs for child care workers, child care centers who sign-up voluntarily will be better prepared to care for the region's children. Also, by providing voluntary on-site healthscreening, kids will benefit by getting preventative healthcare. Many organizations currently provide similar services such as drug prevention programs, food delivery, and dental screening. To further expedite the implementation of on-site services, efforts can be coordinated with the existing mobile resource providers, such as Kids Care Express, MAAC Head Start, 10 Mobile and Episcopal Community Services which will help disseminate information quickly and efficiently directly to child care sites.

It is possible to have all San Diego County children in child care being cared for by loving nurturing providers who are aware of the impact they have on the development of children in their care. Today's action, will make this possible by creating a mobile training resource as well as use existing mobile resources to disseminate valuable information and training.

I urge your support.

Respectfully submitted,

DIANNE JACOB
Chairwoman