FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2017
Josh Joy Kamensky
STATE-OF-THE-ART LOW-INCOME CHILD CARE FACILITY IN HOLLYWOOD PUSHES BACK ON STRAIN OF GENTRIFICATION
TORLAKSON, ALLEN, O’FARRELL, MELVOIN CUT RIBBON ON “STATE-OF-THE-ART” EARLY HEAD START IN HOLLYWOOD
Elected officials cut the ribbon on a brand-new, state-of-the-art Early Head Start center in the middle of Hollywood, one of two that will serve 89 low-income families with infants or toddlers.
The early education centers, developed in a close partnership between the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) and the Youth Policy Institute, are located at 1147 Vine Street (the home of the historic former Vine Street Studios) and 1014 N. Western Avenue. They will provide free, full-day, early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services. Families qualify based on level of income; a family of two parents and two children would have a maximum annual income of $28,000 to qualify.
“The YPI Early Head Start center focuses on the same important things we focus on at the California Department of Education – enhancing a child’s physical, social-emotional, and intellectual development,” said State Superintendent Tom Torlakson. “Together, we can set students up for success – so they come to school ready to learn – curious, inquisitive, stimulated and engaged – ready to discover their inner strengths, ready to dream big and go far.”
The ribbon cutting at the Vine Street location showed off YPI’s commitment to forging connections between low-income communities and neighboring areas of significant economic development. A dramatic renovation over the past two years revealed the most striking center of its type in the nation. Lined with exposed brick and bright, colorful features, its interior design gives Hollywood low-income families a welcoming, first-class location for a deeply needed child-care service.
“Every day I ask how our state education system can meet the needs of our people,” said California State Senator Ben Allen, District 26 and chair of the State Education Committee. “Everything starts early. Kids who go through programs like this are more likely to graduate high school and less likely to enter the juvenile justice system. This center will put our little ones on the path towards successful, happy, and healthy lives.”
Both centers are located in the Los Angeles Promise Zone, a federal designation for low-income communities where YPI is leading place-based interventions on multiple fronts to ensure success for children and families in education and life. The U.S. Department of Health and Human services awarded LACOE a nearly-$40 million Early Head Start grant, a process which benefited from the Promise Zone competitive preference.
“Education in every stage of life is incredibly important for growing strong, healthy communities in the 13th District,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, 13th District. “The Early Head Start program will help shape the minds of young Angelenos in their formative years, and greatly assist families with the very basic human need to learn.”
“Dixon Slingerland and the entire team at YPI understand the need for more innovative early childhood education options to increase student achievement and break the cycle of poverty,” said L.A. Unified Board Vice President, Nick Melvoin, whose district includes the Hollywood and East Hollywood area. “YPI is investing in collaborative efforts with their community partners to bring more Early Head Start programs to Los Angeles’s youngest learners.”
“Walking in the door of this facility in the heart of Hollywood, children and parents will get a clear message: this community belongs to you,” said YPI President & CEO Dixon Slingerland. “In too many cities, economic development puts pressure on low-income families to move away. Ensuring that the heart of Hollywood offers top-notch community services does the opposite.”
The Early Head Start comprehensive services offered by YPI at the new locations will include health, nutrition, child development, disability and mental health services to fully support infants and toddlers and their families’ readiness for preschool and kindergarten.
“We need to identify children early to give them the services they need,” said Debra Duardo, LACOE Superintendent. “Early Head Start helps us reach both the child and the family. This project represents the kind of passion we need to ensure that we’re doing it right.”
Denise Aldana, whose 13-month-son Ethan will attend the Vine Street location, said, “They say it takes a village to raise a child. Right now, my village is YPI.”
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About the Youth Policy Institute
Youth Policy Institute has been providing education and support services to low-income families in Los Angeles since 1996 and is the only agency in the country to have been awarded all four federal Neighborhood Revitalization Initiatives: Promise Zones, Promise Neighborhoods (twice), Choice Neighborhoods, and Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (twice). Together, these initiatives form a place-based approach to fighting poverty, reducing crime, improving educational opportunities and creating access to jobs that builds on YPI’s decades of history helping youth and families. For more information, visit www.ypi.org.