July 3, 1998

South Bay Head Start Offers Free Child Care for Low Income Families

Episcopal Community Services (ECS) announced its partnership with local welfare reform efforts by providing free child care for low income families and children of welfare recipients who are seeking jobs or entering the workforce in the southern region of San Diego County. Part of a nationally funded program, ECS South Bay Head Start provides pre-school children of qualifying families with comprehensive services, including free medical and dental, education, and healthy meals while their parents work toward self-sufficiency. In addition, each of the 12 ECS South Bay Head Start schools features a program for kids with disabilities and special needs. Children engage in activities that help them grow mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically-giving them a "head start" on elementary education.

As part of its continuum of care, ECS Job Start and ECS South Bay Head Start provide fundamental solutions to people moving off of government assistance and into self-sufficiency. ECS has taken a leadership position in local welfare reform efforts and has been recognized by Governor Pete Wilson as "a national model" for linking welfare recipients with jobs. ECS programs combine alternatives for child care and job placement services for welfare recipients throughout San Diego County.

The Rev. Amanda Rutherford May, CEO of ECS said: "This service can open doors for parents looking to support their families. Our goal is to help people find solutions for employment barriers, and child care is at the top of the list." May further commented: "People receiving aid need to understand that the community is coming together to help them make this all important transition."

ECS was founded in 1927 by the Episcopal Church, and for the last 70 years has served as an expression of the church's concern for those most alienated in our society. Today, ECS is a dynamic, multi-cultural organization offering compassion, care, and solutions to those most in need of help; restoring value, dignity, and independence to peoples' lives. ECS has over 30 programs addressing issues ranging from home-lessness, to unemployment, addictions to mental illness, and domestic violence to children's education. ECS South Bay Head Start operates through the Neighborhood House Association Head Start program and is financed by the Administration for Children, Youth, Families Department of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information about ECS South Bay Head Start, or to find out if you qualify for free child development services, please call (619) 422-1642.