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Our History

Founded in 1978 as a consortium of child care agencies and providers who represented various child care agencies, private family home providers, parents and educators, the group met regularly to exchange information on funding and employment opportunities. The group also recruited and trained early childhood educators throughout Los Angeles. A large part of the activities involved legislative advocacy and education on issues affecting the early childhood education community. 

After establishing itself as a nonprofit corporation, one of the agency's first business ventures was to operate a child care center at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center. The hospital, located in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, is one of the largest and busiest medical centers in California. The center's capacity to serve children and train early education teachers increased substantially over the years. In 1994, an infant component was added to better serve families. CDCLA has operated this program since it opened in 1988.

Soon after opening the LAC+USC Children's Center, CDCLA opened the Olive View/UCLA Infant/Child Development Center in Sylmar, California. This second contract with Los Angeles County allowed the agency to establish itself as a credible and consistent provider of preschool and early education services. CDCLA soon found itself operating other county-owned child care facilities. CDCLA was now a well-known and respected provider of quality child care among local public agencies.

In 1997, CDCLA was awarded a contract with the California Department of Education to provide early education programs for children of low-income working families and for those in school or training programs. Over 400 low-income children between the ages of six weeks and six years of age are served daily through this contract. 

Currently, four of CDCLA's centers are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

In addition to operating child care centers, CDCLA has taken on other ventures. One of the roles the agency has undertaken is that of consultant to private corporations interested in instituting employer-sponsored child care. CDCLA has contributed to the design of child care spaces and the development of child care programs with a parent education component.

CDCLA's management team ensures that the agency is involved in advocacy for early childhood education by participating in various planning groups, advisory committees and networks such as the California Child Development Administrator's Association the Los Angeles County Child Care Planning Committee, the Los Angeles Preschool Advocacy Initiative and the Southern California affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) among others. 

While CDCLA has grown and evolved into a multi-site agency over the years, it has kept alive the spirit of determination and progress that founded it years ago. Today, CDCLA is considering several options for further expansion. While the environment for publicly-funded child care is often precarious, the agency's commitment to preserve its services remains strong. CDCLA continues to forge ahead with plans to provide much needed quality early childhood education to young children from all backgrounds and levels of income in Los Angeles.