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Letters to the Editor: A preschool owner’s plea to Sacramento: ‘We just want to stay afloat’

Child care
Children play at Chase Avenue Elementary School in El Cajon, Calif., where the school district is offering free child care to essential workers.
(Eduardo Contreras / San Diego Union-Tribune)

To the editor: As the owner of a preschool for the past 30 years, I can tell you that now is a time of great uncertainty for child-care operators. Half of my 50 families left, the other half are unsure if they will return, and it seems like there is little guidance or concern from Sacramento for us. (“Want to actually help the economy? Bail out child-care providers,” editorial, May 13)

I was going to open in July, and now I have to wonder: Is that too soon?

Sacramento needs to help us, people like me who have devoted their entire careers to educating young children. We have never made Wall Street money; rather, we just want to stay afloat so we can come back to the work we love.

Debbie Ficarra, La Cañada Flintridge

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To the editor: As the founding director of a local preschool, I can say that of particular concern for child care in my area is the minimum wage increase that goes into effect here on July 1.

This just adds to the challenge of being restricted to operating with the income limits of 10 children per classroom while needing more staff to maintain physical distancing with preschool children, infants and toddlers.

Financially, these circumstances will have to change, or else privately funded programs will go out of business.

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Eric Nelson, Altadena

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To the editor: Your declaration that “child care is too often an afterthought” not only lays bare our woeful lack of concern for workers with kids who need to be at their jobs, but also shows the disregard for the welfare of toddlers and children during an essential educational period in their lives.

By comparison, consider Denmark, where all children are guaranteed a place in a school. Almost all Danish families use day care. Most schools are government-sponsored, with parents paying nominal fees for services. Private day cares thrive as well.

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To say that child-care providers need “help” is a staggering understatement. What this country really needs is a system of universal child care.

William K. Solberg, Los Angeles


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