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December 16, 2009 > Collaborative receives grant for new childcare center

Collaborative receives grant for new childcare center

Submitted By Robin Michel

Rose Padilla Johnson, Executive Director of Davis Street Family Resource Center (DSFRC) recently announced that the agency has received a planning grant on behalf of a collaborative formed to pursue the creation of a new childcare center at The Alameda at San Leandro Crossings. The collaborative is composed of BRIDGE Housing Corporation, Alameda County Board Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker, the Alameda County Childcare Planning Council, the Child Care Coordinating Council of Alameda County (4Cs), the City of San Leandro, Congregations Organizing for Renewal (COR) and the DSFRC.

"There is a significant need for childcare in downtown San Leandro," said Ms. Padilla Johnson. "The center would serve approximately 60 children, ages 2 1/2 to 5, providing quality preschool in these critical years of a child's development. This is an exciting moment in San Leandro's history. The Center will be the first state-of-the-art facility built from the ground up to meet the increasing demand for quality licensed early care and education."

The Low Income Investment Fund, a national community development financial institution based in San Francisco, funded the $20,000 grant through its Affordable Buildings for Children's Development (ABCD) Initiative. The grant will help pay for project planning, architectural design, neighborhood outreach, and staffing.

The childcare center would be located on the ground floor of The Alameda, a 100-unit low-income family apartment building, at San Leandro Crossings, a mixed-use development being built adjacent to the San Leandro BART Station as Phase One of the City of San Leandro's Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Strategy Area. BRIDGE is constructing a childcare building shell of approximately 5,000 square feet, and it is anticipated that DSFRC would be the operator.

"How and where we care for our children is a strong statement about our city's values," said City Councilmember Michael Gregory. "The collaborative is committed to raising funds to make this childcare center a reality. From the beginning, we urged the development team to consider finding solutions that would address multiple issues. The development team is delivering on this."

Not only will the proposed center make quality childcare more accessible for families by expanding the number of children and families served in San Leandro, its close proximity to public transit makes it highly convenient for families to get out of their cars and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. According to a recent survey of parents, many find taking transit or walking with their children is less stressful than driving-an added benefit to families!

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