A report out today by a coalition of government organizations and early learning advocates, shows just how severely the $1.2 billion cut to state funding for early childhood education has affected Los Angeles County. Since 2008, 1,400 locations, or 15 percent of licensed child care centers in the county that had served 11,200 infants and toddlers have closed.
Laura Escobedo, the child care planning coordinator for L.A. County, said nearly a third of the statewide cut, or about $400 million dollars, came out of her county’s budget. Much of the data in today’s report was gathered by Escobedo’s organization in cooperation with L.A. County Head Start and Los Angeles Universal Preschool. Escobedo said they knew there had been a reduction in child care spots and they wanted to pinpoint how severely that reduction had affected individual neighborhoods and districts. Once the data was compiled and worked into a single database, Escobedo said it was clear to her that funding cuts have brought the early childhood care system in her county to the brink.