Press Releases

July 27, 2010

Major L.A. Firms Unite to Help Bridge Gap

LOS ANGELES - With a $19.1 billion state deficit and a proposed elimination of day care for 142,000 low-income California children, the need to ensure an adequate quantity of child care centers is an urgent and compelling issue. 

At a time when businesses are turning their resources to the strengthening of their own financial stability, Paul Hastings, Goodwin Procter, LLP, Hogan Lovells US LLP, and Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips, LLP in partnership with Public Counsel Law Center, have stepped up to the demands presented by a struggling economy and have volunteered their attorneys to provide advice on navigating the development process for child care center businesses.

On July 28, 2010 major law firms and Public Counsel will host "Navigating the Maze: Finding Your Way to Successfully Opening a Child Care Center".  This event is designed to improve operators' success rate for opening child care centers by providing free legal services to clarify the most crucial and complex stages of the child care center opening process.

With 77 percent of children in Los Angeles County lacking access to critical early child care services, Public Counsel hopes to expand the network of providers by offering assistance in identifying and selecting the right property for child care centers.  It also wants to, encourage the review of the zoning and discretionary permit entitlement processes, address other barriers presented at the early stages of opening a child care center business, and highlight potential stumbling blocks at various stages of project development.  Public Counsel hopes that this event will make the process of opening a child care center more transparent to potential operators so that they can open a center and start providing care with as few obstacles as possible.

"Quality child care is a critical component of a child's learning development, and there is a severe lack of early care and education facilities in Los Angeles County," said Celia C. Ayala, chief executive officer of Los Angeles Universal Preschool, a non-profit that aims to increase accessibility to quality early education in Los Angeles County.

Residents of Los Angeles County must start planning for economic recovery. "A major barrier to economic growth in Los Angeles County is the shortage in child care spaces for the children of working parents," said Kate Anderson, an attorney with Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP.  "As an industry that generates an estimated $1.9 billion in gross receipts and allows parents with children aged birth to twelve to earn almost $22.3 billion annually in Los Angeles County, the growth of child care provides far-reaching benefits to the economy."


About Public Counsel and the ECE Law Project: Public Counsel is the largest public interest pro bono law firm in the world.  Founded in 1970, Public Counsel is dedicated to advancing equal justice under law by delivering free legal sand social services to the most vulnerable members of our community.  In 2007, with the help of more than 3,600 volunteers, Public Counsel provided more than $72 million worth of free services to over 26,500 people.  The ECE Law Project, one of Public Counsel's 7 programs, was created in 1986 to respond to the critical shortage of quality affordable child care spaces in LA County.