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East Los Angeles celebrates opening of child-care center

August 1, 2009 |  1:16 pm

East Los Angeles celebrated the opening today of a nonprofit preschool and child-care center intended for low-income families.

The new facility, the Gloria Molina-Para Los Niños Child Development Center, will help fill a need in the unincorporated community, which lacks sufficient child-care centers, said Elena Stern, spokeswoman for Para Los Niños. Officials held a dedication ceremony today.

With four classrooms surrounding a courtyard playground, the 12,000-square-foot facility will be the final building to complete East Los Angeles’ newly renovated civic center.

The center will be able to take in 88 children, ages 2 through 5, Stern said. So far, 30 children have enrolled at the center, which opened its doors two weeks ago.

Tuition is based on a family's ability to pay with many parents paying nothing. A family of six that makes $28,000 a year might pay $3 a day for their children.

The center was built with Los Angeles County funding and receives additional funding from the state and through Los Angeles Universal Preschool, a corporation funded by the local First 5 commission that controls local funds generated by Proposition 10. The 1998 proposition increased cigarette taxes by 50 cents a pack to pay for early childhood development programs.

The center is being run by Para Los Niños, a nonprofit organization that runs six other child-care and preschool centers in under-served areas in Los Angeles County as well as after-school programs and family support services.

-- Rong-Gong Lin II