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Woodstock parents set up child care meet

Submitted by on 1, August 17, 2010 – 4:50 amOne Comment

Parents who are slated to lose their childcare programs if state leaders don’t fund them this fall are meeting this afternoon and tonight to look for ways to keep those programs alive.

Parents whose children attend the Woodstock Child Development Center and state subsidized before- and aftercare programs at Ruby Bridges and Henry Haight elementary schools are hosting meetings from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. today at the Alameda Multicultural Community Center, which is located in the Longfellow Education Center, 501 Lincoln Avenue, Building A, room 6.

The meeting is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

Topics at the parent-organized meeting will include efforts to save Woodstock’s toddler program and before and after-school care programs for school age children at Ruby Bridges and Haight. Parents will also discuss other childcare options in the event the programs do close as anticipated.

Anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP to Caroline Topeé at 938-5912.

School district officials told the Board of Education on August 10 that they would need to eliminate the largely state-subsidized programs because the state isn’t paying for them, and the district doesn’t have the money to keep them open. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he wants to eliminate state funding for subsidized child care, though Democrats in the Legislature have said they wish to keep it in the budget.

District officials notified parents using the programs in late July that they would shut down at the end of August. The district has been covering the programs’ expenses through their own budget for the summer, though district officials said they can’t afford to continue doing so.

Parents told the school board they’re struggling to find new care for their children, and they begged the board to keep the programs open longer while they look. The board told district staff to look at what it might cost to keep the programs open another 45 days.

The board is slated to make a decision about the programs’ fate on August 24.

One Comment »

  • Caroline Topee' says:


    I wanted to thank all of the parents and providers of WCDC that came to these workshops. A special thank you goes out to Andre Coleman and Zoe Holder of the Multi-Cultural Community Center,Jerome Gibson and Kameron Edwards of Fed Ex Kinko’s, Kim Peter’s of Togo’s, Kristy’s Home Cooking and Catering Service and to Michele Ellson of The Island News.

    I appreciate all of your efforts to provide the handouts,the delicious refreshments and the facility, as well as assist me with getting the information out to the community of Alameda.

    Another thank you goes to Judy Kriege of Bananas in Oakland, Ricky of the RAP Program at Alameda Recreation and Park Dept., Alma Williams of Alameda Headstart for providing information for Infants and Toddlers, Pre-School programs and Subsidized Child Care options for the parents of the WCDC programs, especially to Bananas to provide those handouts in other languages to assist them to try getting parents of Asian and Hispanic backgrounds on the Central Eligibility List (CEL) to help possibly qualify those families for other alternative payment programs.

    Thank you to Council Member Lena Tam and to Board of Education Trustee, Trish Herrera Spencer for their presence and support at these workshops. Carol Barton, Director of WCDC attended to lend support for any questions the parents had, a thank you for her support goes out to her as well.

    Because of all of you, the workshops were a success! Let’s hope that this valuable program (the only one of its kind in Alameda)does not close because of the state budget cuts to child care. We will know on August 24th, at the next Board of Education meeting, if the program will stay open for 45 days extension or close its doors on August 27th.

    Caroline Topeé
    Parent at the Henry Haight Elementary School WCDC site

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