First Educare school in Southern California breaks ground

Educare partners celebrated the groundbreaking of the 22nd Educare school on May 24. Educare Los Angeles at Long Beach will provide low-income children with quality early learning during their first five years to prepare them for success in school and life.

“Education is the great equalizer,” said Janice Hahn, Los Angeles County supervisor, district 4. “We now know that we can make an incredible difference in a child’s life by getting them access to a high-quality education as early as possible.”

The program will begin at Clara Barton Elementary School in fall 2017 with 3- and 4-year-olds until construction of the new building is complete. The Educare school will then open its doors to nearly 200 young children, ages 6 weeks to 5 years old, and their families in summer 2018.

Serving children, families and early learning professionals

“This parent center, this resource center, this Educare will educate an entire generation of parents on how to support and empower their students,” said Megan Kerr, vice president of the Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education. “And with that partnership—with families and community—this community, this neighborhood and this region will be different.”

The school will be a hub for early learning professional development, showing how programs can use evidence based approaches to provide quality early childhood education and partner with families.

“The work that is happening at these Educare [schools] is amazing,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “Not only will we have the best teachers and not only will we have the best care, but we will also be training and teaching the best teachers about how to provide the best care, anywhere.”

The school’s dual-language learning program will serve as a model for other early childhood programs and connect with a related program in K-12 schools in the Long Beach Unified School District.

Increasing access to early education

As an Educare school, Educare Los Angeles at Long Beach will also be a platform for change in early childhood policy and practice to increase access to high-quality early education for all children.

“Every child deserves a chance to learn and a chance to reach their full potential,” Supervisor Hahn said. “A facility like this has the potential to lift up families and rewrite the futures of a generation of local students.”

Partnering for success

The school was formed in partnership with Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and UNITE LA, Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach Education Foundation, LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment, The Advancement Project, Buffett Early Childhood Fund and Ounce of Prevention Fund.

“We’re all here because we know that the best investment across the education spectrum is in early childhood,” Mayor Garcia said.

Watch a video of the groundbreaking.