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Anniversary Celebration: CCRC’s 45-year legacy as a community beacon

What began as a way to help parents and child care providers connect in the San Fernando Valley in 1976 blossomed into what’s now the largest Resource & Referral agency in the state. We, at Child Care Resource Center, are proud to mark 45 years of service in northern Los Angeles County and the entirety of San Bernardino County.

Our growth can be measured in a number of ways, like our expansion across 22,500 square miles, our 1,000 staff members, and our over $400 million budget. But, the most important metric is the number of families and child care providers we serve, which has increased substantially over the years.

CCRC was dedicated in 1975 and Marj Morris became the agency’s first paid director, and in 1976 the agency formally incorporated. At the beginning, CCRC received an average of 60 requests each month from parents needing assistance in finding a child care provider. By 1978, CCRC was already growing and began to offer services and outreach to Santa Clarita, Lancaster, and Palmdale.

After serving on CCRC’s Board of Directors in the 1990s, Dr. Michael Olenick became CCRC’s third President & CEO in 2003. Today we serve over 50,000 children, families and child care providers and that number has continued to grow in many different ways like, during the pandemic, when we acted fast to find care for an additional 6,100 children of essential workers.

Hard work and determination has allowed CCRC to reach more families over the past four decades. After we qualified for non-profit status in 1989, CCRC added a new office in the Antelope Valley.

Following the historic earthquake in 1994, we were awarded a Head Start contract in the SFV and opened the first site in 1995. Today, CCRC Head Start gives 3,000 children birth to 5 years old a great start in life at more than 25 locations.

As our workload expanded, so too did payroll and, by 2007, we needed a bigger space to call home base. We consolidated two offices located in Van Nuys and Northridge and moved over 200 staff in to what’s currently Headquarters in Chatsworth. By 2013, we expanded services into San Bernardino County, a milestone development. 

Just this year, CCRC was recognized by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal as a leading nonprofit in the SFV. The publication noted our efforts during the pandemic to ramp up efforts to provide service while many other nonprofits struggled. CCRC transitioned a majority of staff to remote positions to protect the health of our team without faltering in our commitment to the people we serve. 

We transitioned to online classrooms, trainings and coaching as well as drive-thru distribution events so families could still access fresh produce, diapers and clothing. Child care providers received cleaning supplies and critical health information to continue operating safely. For decades, CCRC has worked closely with lawmakers to craft legislation that puts children and families first, including our recent efforts to increase pay rates for child care providers – the first time since 2016.

Since our humble beginnings in 1976, CCRC has become a community beacon and employer of choice. With a growing team of diverse employees, CCRC established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council to help combat racism in the workplace and make it a safe place for staff and clients. We are committed to serving our community and uplifting our employees, all to achieve our mission: CCRC cultivates child, family and community well-being.

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