When it became clear that families in the San Fernando Valley were struggling to access child care, a small group of child development professionals came together in 1976 to form Child Care Resource Center (CCRC). This month marks almost 50 years of operation, and today we offer so much more than child care.
“CCRC turned 47 years old September 13th, that’s the date we were incorporated,” said CCRC President & CEO Dr. Michael Olenick. “At the time, we were a resource and referral agency helping families find child care. They were kept on 3×5 notecards. People would go out to track down where providers were and get a notecard, then you’d call.” That’s not the case today. In fact, an entire division of Resource & Referral staff engage with a network of thousands of child care providers.
“We’ve been managing a small alternative payment program since 1978, that was really very small and for working parents who didn’t qualify for other programs,” said Olenick. “We’re servicing now in all our programs 46,000 children – 10 years ago, we were servicing 14,000 children.”
Nearly 2,300 families receive a great head start in life with our 26 award-winning Head Start and Early Head Start CCRC operated locations and 13 delegate locations. And 235 families, including 10 pregnant women, benefit from CCRC’s Home Visiting program, where a professional shares essential child development tips and tools in the comfort of the family home.
Each year that passes, the number of children served and the number of staff employed grows exponentially. “When I first joined, we had under 300 employees,” said CCRC Board Member Peter Wang. “You can imagine now, we’re triple the size. That was just six years ago.”
CCRC employs over 1,200 staff across seven locations in Northern Los Angeles County and all of San Bernardino County. That includes a team of three under our Diversity Equity and Inclusion Division, which received a DEI award from the L.A. Business Journal. CCRC now serves some 75,000 children, families, and child care providers.
“Since I’ve been here, we’ve acquired two large pieces of real estate and we’ve established an investment portfolio to fund projects we think are important to the organization,” said CCRC Board Chair Adrian Stern.
Our array of services includes much more than child care, from early education to food and supply distributions, family medical services and beyond. In 2022 alone, we distributed 25,000 pounds of fresh produce, baby wipes and diapers, thousands of articles of clothing, 628 backpacks, furniture, and cleaning supplies to about 5,000 families and child care providers. Our 21 events hosted this past year helped give children and families a reason to smile with activities, books, toys, clothes, games, and food as well as information and resources connections.
“We’re going to continue to grow, we’re already growing tremendously, in terms of both geography and services available to families, because when you think of the family and well-being of children, so many things can be offered,” said Wang.
And our advocacy at the State Capitol helps us work toward our goal of supporting the whole-child, whole-family.
“We really want to be able to provide whatever a family needs. That’s not where we are yet, but it’s where we’re going,” said Olenick.