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Maywood Backs Early Care to Boost Child Learning and Healthy Habits

The City of Maywood in Southeast Los Angeles took an important step to boost early care learning and combat child obesity.

The City Council unanimously passed a resolution to support the growth of early care education and play space for children ages 0-5. The resolution commits the city to work with the Southeast Cities Early Care and Education Task Force, community-based groups who want to ensure young children start school ready to learn and with a healthy start for life.

Click here to read the City of Maywood resolution on early care and play space.

"Early care and education must be an integral part of our community," said Maywood Mayor Oscar Magaña. "It is one of the foundations, along with developing healthy habits, for a viable future for our children."

Members of the Southeast Cities ECE Task Force spoke out before the vote, including the Southeast-Rio Vista YMCA, California Children's Academy, California Center for Public Health Advocacy and Public Counsel.

Victor Dominguez, Senior Vice President Operations/Community Development, YMCA, said; "The YMCA is providing preschool services to Maywood residents but we know there is not enough child care services. The resolution before the city council helps us begin a conversation with the city to determine how we can plan for increasing child care spaces in Maywood."

“Quality early care can make the difference between whether a child starts kindergarten ready to learn, or already years behind her peers,” said Karla Pleitez Howell, supervising staff attorney at Public Counsel’s Early Care and Education Unit.

New studies show the positive impact on child learning lasts long after a child starts kindergarten and can close the achievement gaps with their peers from wealthier areas. Research by the LOs Angeles County Office of Child Care shows that access to quality early care lags far behind in Southeast LA County.

City of Maywood officials have participated in the Southeast ECE Task Force's annual meetings with city leaders and community groups where they learned about the positive impact early care growth can have on families with young children and the whole community.

The City of Maywood's action sends a powerful message that early care matters to city leaders, and could clear the way for more early care providers to open in  the city. Early care providers are also small businesses that inject vitality and revenue.

Public Counsel is working to expand access to early care and play space across Southeast LA County through a grant from First 5 LA and the California Community Foundation.

Click here to read the resolution.