Home/Resources/The LAist Spotlights the Critical Need for Affordable, High-Quality Childcare

The LAist Spotlights the Critical Need for Affordable, High-Quality Childcare

For Christina Nigrelli, our senior director of programs, finding affordable child care was transformative.
The LAist Spotlights the Critical Need for AfforThe LAist Spotlights the Critical Need for Affordable, High-Quality Childcaredable, High-Quality Childcare
(Mariana Dale/LAist)

Child care is one of the highest monthly expenses for many families and infant and toddler care is the most expensive kind of child care and often the most difficult to find.  In California, there were almost 9% fewer licensed child care spaces in 2021 than there were a decade before.

When Christina’s second child was born in the late 1990s, she made just under $9 an hour teaching at a faith-based child care program in Irvine. It wasn’t until she quit her job, moved home, and enrolled in college that she learned that she could get financial help from the state to pay for child care.

I thought I won an award or the lotto, I was just in tears and elated. But if not for that [child care] program, I don’t know how I would’ve gone to school.
— Christina Nigrelli

Over two decades later, it hasn’t gotten easier, or more affordable, for many families to find care in the early years of their child’s life. According to the LAist, the average annual cost of infant care in California is $1,412 a month. Over a year that’s more than in-state tuition at a 4-year college. Read more about the plight of parents in California.

Access to affordable, high-quality is critical. 

Child care is an essential building block in the foundation of our families’ and nation’s future. Early learning means children begin kindergarten ready to learn and succeed. Increasing access helps more babies and toddlers, including those with delays and disabilities, get the developmental support they need. When parents lack safe, high-quality child care, they either can’t work or risk leaving their children in unsafe or poor-quality settings. Neither is a good alternative. Parents exit the workforce and leave gaping holes in the economy, supply chains, and essential services. The system is fundamentally broken, and the healthy development of our children is at stake.

Urge policymakers to prioritize babies and families and support high-quality, affordable childcare.


Read More

Related Resources


We need your support now more than ever to ensure all babies have access to the quality care, services and support they need to thrive.