State Superintendent Torlakson joins statewide 3-day “Gapbusters!” Bus Tour of child care facilities

Media Advisory

Contact: Terry Carter; 213-700-5617

Blanca Gallegos; 213-500-9594

“Low-income children graduating from my program are top in their Kindergarten class!” says Long Beach Child Care Provider about closing the education achievement gap.

WHAT: Parents, children, Child Care Providers, community leaders, and elected officials on the Statewide “Gapbusters” Child Care Bus Tour will stop at Ramona’s Day Care in Long Beach to see firsthand the quality program going on inside her home. For 19 years, Child Care Provider Ramona Duran has given children in her neighborhood the necessary early enrichment that studies show ensures success in school and later in life.

WHEN: Tuesday, February 18, 2013
Facility Tour: 2:00 p.m.
Press Conference: 2:15 p.m. **RAIN OR SHINE**

WHERE: Ramona’s Day Care, 2935 Baltic Ave., Long Beach, CA 90810

WHY: Child care providers know that by the time children reach elementary school, their chances of success are already determined. Providers want to make sure our leaders in Sacramento know that Governor Brown’s new school funding formula, which ensures our neediest schools receive more funding, is a great step. But it will never accomplish its goals if California continues to neglect its early education system. Quality early learning is absolutely essential to closing the education achievement gap. Studies show:

  • 90% of brain development has already occurred by the time children enter kindergarten;
  • The language gap among children appears as early as 18 months old;
  • Achievement gaps present when a child begins school persist through that child’s educational career;
  • The U.S. has the highest college drop-out rate in the developed world, endangering our economy.

The “Gapbusters” Bus Tour highlights the important contributions of family child care providers across the state. At the various stops along this tour, participants will learn that inside neighborhood homes with the cute signs in front, children learn from rich curriculum and gain important social skills. Family child care providers make up a vital part of California’s early education infrastructure and are especially valuable for families with non-traditional work hours. Their more intimate setting is also ideal for children with special needs.

Family child care providers are strong advocates for children and families and have urged the Governor to restore the 110,000 children who have been cut from child care programs and to grant providers a stronger, united voice by signing the Quality Child Care Act, AB 641.

WHO: Child Care Providers, Parents, and Children; State Superintendent Tom Torlakson; United Way of Greater Los Angeles President/CEO Elise Buik; and other community leaders.

VISUALS: Large bus covered in “Gapbusters” graphics; children dressed up as “graduates” in caps and gowns; children and parents holding banners and signs


SEIU Local 99 represents nearly 45,000 employees in public and non-public organizations in early education, child care, K-12, and community college levels. SEIU Local 99 members are: Teacher’s Assistants, Playground Workers, Special Education Aides, Bus Drivers, Gardeners, Custodians, Cafeteria Workers, Maintenance Workers, Family Service Workers, Child Care Providers, and others providing essential services in schools, colleges, and administrative offices throughout Southern California. Nearly 50% of SEIU Local 99 members are also parents or guardians of school-age or pre-school age children.

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