A child-care facility for low-income families that is at the center of an effort to turn Maclay Middle School into a nexus of social services will be dedicated Tuesday.
District officials, school board members and representatives of a New York philanthropic organization will join parents to celebrate the recent opening of the Maxwell H. Gluck Children's Center, which was built with a $1-million donation from the New York-based Maxwell H. Gluck Foundation.
The center began enrolling children in late January and is already at capacity, with 50 children between the ages of 2 and 5 and a waiting list of more than 50 others.
Run by the Los Angeles Unified School District's division for child development, the center serves parents in the community who are either enrolled in school or working. The donation will also fund the program in its first year of operation. With incomes less than $1,337 a month, none of the families currently enrolled pay for the child care. After its first year, the program will be run through the district with a combination of state and federal funds.
The program is part of an ongoing effort to turn Maclay into a place where parents can receive a variety of social services and children a continuity of care and education. When children reach school age, they can move directly from the day-care center to classes on the same campus at the Maclay Primary Center. In addition to child care and education, the center will offer parenting classes.
The inauguration of the center also marks cooperation with the district's division of adult education. Administrators of the child-care center reserved half of the spaces for parents who take job-training classes at the nearby Pacoima Skills Center.
Yolanda Nava, an adviser at the Pacoima Skills Center, called the center's opening a big plus in a community where more than 1,000 families are on waiting lists for child care. "There is a tremendous need in the community," Nava said. "Parents cannot go after the training or education or work they need until their children are taken care of."