Pathways LA is a non-profit organization working to ensure that all children have access to quality, developmentally appropriate, educationally stimulating child care. Founded in 1978 by educator and activist Bea Gold, Pathways LA was an early leader in promoting child care programs that are inclusive of children with special needs.  Today, the founding principles guide our work as we promote strengths-based education and best practices for child development by assistintg families, supporting child care providers, caring for children, and advocating for the community.

Pathways LA has a staff of more than 60 that reflects the cultural and linguistic diversity in our community. We are proud to offer our services in English, Spanish, Russian, Armenian, Chinese and Korean and are continually striving to make our staff and our resources more accessible and useful.

Our Mission

Pathways LA strengthens low-income and vulnerable working families, promotes high quality early care and education services for children of all abilities, develops knowledgeable early care providers, and promotes economically resilient communities.

Vision

All families will have access to high quality inclusive early care and education services regardless of income, and children of all abilities will have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

Strategic Imperatives

Pathways LA exists so no family, regardless of income or social status, is forced to go without high quality child care and early education opportunities for their children. We aim to achieve this through the following:

1. Increase the impact of Pathways LA services and programs on child and family outcomes, especially for those most vulnerable
2. Improve the effectiveness of provider skills training efforts
3. Increase school readiness best practices in early care and education programs serving low income families in Pathways LA service area

Our History

1978

Founded as the Children, Youth, and Family Services (CYFS) agency by educator and activist Bea Gold, Pathways LA was one of the first private non-profit organizations to receive public funding in support of programs for children with disabilities and special needs.

From its early years as CYFS, Pathways LA’s mission has been guided by a philosophy reflecting commitments to full inclusion of children’s special needs in early care and education programs, to strengths-based approaches, to responding to family and community needs, and to continuous quality improvement and demonstrating model programs. From a small staff of 9 individuals in 1978 to more than 60 dedicated staff at Pathways LA today, these principles have guided our work for four decades.

1981

In 1980 Pathways LA launched the Handicapped Children’s Consultant Project, known as the Resource & Action Project, which provided technical assistance to Head Start and other early care programs to improve services for children with handicapping conditions and their families.

1984

Pathways LA is established as one of ten Child Care Resource & Referral agencies in Los Angeles County, helping working mothers and dual wage earners locate high quality inclusive child care programs, and training the child care work force to accommodate changing community and family needs.

1991

Pathways LA opens the West Hollywood Preschool Program in partnership with the City of West Hollywood and the Los Angeles County Office of Education. This initiative was in response to the growing need of low income, working families to access affordable, high quality inclusive child care and preschool education services in the West Hollywood community.

1996

The CAL-Works program is enacted and Pathways LA launches a program geared towards helping the families receiving public assistance place their children in high quality child care programs. The goal is for parents to achieve economic independence through work, job training, and school attendance.

2003

The year we officially became Pathways LA. Thanks to a dedicated and involved Board of Directors, Pathways LA becomes the leading agency for a multi-year, county-wide initiative that would increase the capacity of child care providers to meet the needs of children with disabilities and special needs in early care and education programs.

Entitled SNAP – The Special Needs Advisory Project – this new initiative developed special needs training materials for child care providers and enabled parents to locate and maintain developmentally appropriate child care placements that could adequately meet their children’s special needs.

Today

As a result of our direct service programs, payment assistance programs, referral and locator services, and provider training activities, Pathways LA continues to live its mission of helping families access high quality inclusive child care services. With a staff of more than 60 individuals who reflect the linguistic and cultural composition of the families we serve, Pathways LA assists thousands of families and children every year in our service area, and continues to support and train more than 950 child care providers. The principles that guided the creation of Pathways LA 40 years ago – inclusion of children with special needs, strengths-based family assistance, and model programs and best practices in early care and education – continue to guide us in implementing the mission and anticipating future needs.

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1978

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1981

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1984

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1991

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1996

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Today

Board of Directors

Les Guttman - Board President

Les Guttman

Board President

Principal, Marketing & Advertising Consulting Services

Page Villaluna - Board Vice President

Page Villaluna

Board Vice President

Partner, MVZ & Associates, Inc.

Dean Paily - Board Secretary

Dean Paily

Board Secretary

Project Manager, CIT Group, Inc.

Nancy Wiseman - Board Treasurer

Nancy Wiseman

Board Treasurer

Bruno Dieseldorff - Board Member

Bruno Dieseldorff

Board Member

Director of Investments, Northrop Grumman

Lisa Flenoury - Board Member

Lisa Flenoury

Board Member

City of Los Angeles

Jenn Layton-Hsu - Board Member

Jenn Layton-Hsu

Board Member

Director of Client Service, Clique Media Group

Thomas M. Briones-Soupcoff - Board Member

Thomas M. Briones-Soupcoff

Board Member

JP Morgan & Chase Co., Business Relationship Manager

Senior Leadership Team

Paul Pulver - Executive Director

Paul Pulver

Executive Director

Paul Pulver has been the Executive Director for Pathways LA since 2016. He oversees all programs and operations related to the services provided to over 2,100 families and 3,500 children annually in Pathways LA service area within Los Angeles County (SPA-4).

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Jessie Salazar - Deputy Executive Director

Jessie Salazar

Deputy Executive Director

For over 20 years, Jessie Salazar has been a mainstay at Pathways LA. Most recently serving as Director of Programs, Jessie spearheaded improvements to Pathways LA’s operational functions and technological infrastructure.

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Debra Rabinowitz - Director of Development and Administration

Debra Rabinowitz

Director of Development and Administration

Debbie Rabinowitz has served as Director of Development for Pathways LA since April 2015. In this capacity, she develops, leads, and manages all fundraising activities — including establishing and cultivating relationships with individual and corporate donors, philanthropic organizations and community partnerships.

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Araceli Quintero - Director of Child Care Subsidy

Araceli Quintero

Director of Child Care Subsidy

Araceli joined Pathways LA in 1999 as a Specialist in our Resource and Referral Department, helping parents locate and access quality child care. In her current Director capacity, Araceli oversees all three of Pathways LA’s subsidy departments.

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Sally Valenzuela - Director of Family and Provider Enrichment Services

Sally Valenzuela

Director of Family and Provider Enrichment Services

Sally Valenzuela has been with Pathways LA since 1998 and has more than twenty years of experience in child development and early care and education. She works closely with our Deputy Executive Director to develop, manage and administer all aspects of Pathways LA’s programs.

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