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San Diego

Concerned about “latchkey children,” a San Diego City Council committee asked the city manager Monday to investigate using industrial development bonds to start child-care centers downtown.

In addition, the Rules Committee by unanimous vote directed the manager’s office to consider starting a day-care center for city workers.

The committee acted at the request of Councilwoman Gloria McColl, who said there is a growing need for children’s services for before and after school. “There are 66,000 latchkey children in San Diego County,” she said, quoting a 1983 survey by the League of Women Voters. In a pilot project sponsored by the Junior League, a consortium of downtown businesses will open a child care center Sept. 1 on Fir Street for 45 to 50 children, McColl said. If the city were to offer tax-exempt bonds, “this little carrot” might persuade other businesses to start such a center, she said.


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