Got Child Care?
That was the question a group of committed volunteers asked the San Fernando Valley in 1974. After hearing an enthusiastic and definite “NO,” these volunteers looked for a way to support families struggling to find quality child care, development, and education services for their families.
So that year, the San Fernando Valley Child Care Consortium and the Mayor’s Child Care and Junior Task Force proposed the first child care resource center in the San Fernando Valley. Doris McLain was elected chairperson as Mayor Bradley accepted the proposal and gave the newly founded Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) space in Van Nuys City Hall Center.
On January 23, 1975, CCRC was formally dedicated; volunteers of the National Council of Jewish Women became the first staff, and Marj Morris became the agency’s first paid director. Upon formal incorporation in 1976, Resource and Referral (R&R) services began in the San Fernando Valley with an average of 60 requests per month from parents needing assistance in their search for caregivers. In that same year, a grant from the California Department of Education allowed CCRC to begin providing financial support to help low-income families pay for the cost of their child care.
A Growing Cause
By 1978, CCRC was already experiencing growth and began to offer services and outreach to Santa Clarita, Lancaster, and Palmdale. CCRC also recognized the importance of including child care providers in our mission and has continued to provide professional growth opportunities, access to an extensive lending library and low-cost or free training for over 20 years.
In 1989, CCRC qualified for non-profit status, and Lorraine Schrag became Executive Director. Continued growth in 1993 resulted in:
- Expansion of the Resource Library in North Hollywood
- The Resource Van Project, funded by the American Business Collaborative
- The opening of a new office in the Antelope Valley with Resource & Referral, Nutrition, and Subsidized Child Care Services
CCRC was awarded a new Head Start contract in the San Fernando Valley following the Northridge earthquake in 1994. The first Head Start site opened in 1995, followed closely by the second and third sites in the next year. Currently, we have five Head Start locations and serve over 500 children and families.
In 1998, CCRC and nine Los Angeles County Resource and Referral agencies undertook a huge project by contracting with the Department of Social Services (DSS) to provide child care services for participants in the CalWORKs program.
Under the leadership of Dr. Michael Olenick who assumed the position of President CEO in 2003, we now have over 700 professional staff members working from more than 20 different locations. CCRC’s programs and services for both parents and providers have grown over the last four decades as our outreach into the communities of the Antelope, San Fernando, and Santa Clarita Valleys as well as the entirety of San Bernardino County.
Each month, we provide quality, support, development, and education to almost 50,000 children, families in our 22,500-square-mile service area. We remain a unique and distinctive leader in the child care industry. Our current programs include resource libraries, home visiting, workforce development, family engagement, financial care assistance, Head Start preschool, Early Head Start, Early Head Start – Childcare partnership, Motherhood and so much more.
We look forward to another 40 years of continued support from our community as we help cultivate child, family and community well-being.