A parent is a child’s first teacher. Pathways LA partners with parents and caregivers to promote strong parent-child relationships and healthy child development. Through one on one assistance, our specialists help parents navigate the child care system, apply for subsidies, and find licensed providers in their area. We offer opportunities for parents to learn more about their child’s development and build family resiliency through our Parent Seminars, Play and Learn Groups, Parent Cafes and Family Events.
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.
A History of Building Community
Since its founding Pathways LA has been committed to the healthy development and school readiness of young children from disadvantaged communities.
Driven by data and innovation, our experts support the continuum of care that includes parents, child care providers, community partners and policymakers.
Educator and activist Bea Gold founds the Children, Youth, and Family Services agency, one of the first private non-profit organizations to receive public funding in support of programs for children with disabilities and special needs. The organization that will eventually change its name to Pathways LA is committed to full inclusion of children’s special needs in early care and education programs, strengths-based approaches, responding to family and community needs, continuous quality improvement and demonstrating model programs.
Pathways LA launches the Resource & Action Project, which provides technical assistance to Head Start and other early care programs to improve services for children with handicapping conditions and their families.
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 child care programs, as well as training the child care workforce to accommodate changing community and family needs.
Pathways LA opens the West Hollywood Preschool Program in partnership with the City of West Hollywood and the Los Angeles County Office of Education in response to the growing need of low income, working families to access affordable, high quality, inclusive child care and preschool education services.
CalWORKs is enacted and Pathways LA launches a program to help families receiving public assistance place their children in high quality child care programs while the parents achieve economic independence through work, job training and school attendance.
The organization officially changes its name to Pathways LA. Thanks to a dedicated and involved Board of Directors, Pathways LA becomes the leading agency for a multi-year, county-wide initiative to increase the capacity of child care providers to meet the needs of children with disabilities and special needs in early care and education programs. This Special Needs Advisory Project (SNAP) develops special needs training materials for child care providers and enables parents to locate and maintain developmentally appropriate child care placements to meet their children’s needs.
As a result of our direct service programs, payment assistance programs, provider training activities, and referral and locator services, 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, while continuing 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.
Child care providers are the cornerstone to high quality Early Childhood Education and act as pillars of the community, serving children over multiple generations. Quality child care has been proven to enhance academic achievement, increase earning potential, create better health outcomes, reduce crime, and lead to fewer children and families living in poverty. Recognizing this crucial influence of providers, our child development experts train them to be leaders in the industry and deliver the best care for children. We help providers obtain their Family Child Care Home License and offer professional development on topics including Child Growth and Development, Trauma Informed Care, Business Development, Nutrition, and Children with Special Needs. We also provide individualized coaching and technical assistance, as well as access to cutting edge resources and funding opportunities.
Public policy has a tremendous impact on the lives of our children, affecting the availability, cost and quality of their child care options. Currently only 1 in 9 children in California have access to child care. Pathways LA aims to expand quality affordable child care services for our most vulnerable communities through targeted policy advocacy. Through conversations with neighborhood associations, providers, families and community members, we outline the specific needs our system must incorporate to ensure that children receive a quality learning experience. Community volunteers then join us in advising legislators on the public policy implications that impact the child care industry, advocating for the most at-risk families in our community, and encouraging investment in Early Childhood Education.
Take a deeper dive and learn more about our vision for a more inclusive Los Angeles for all.
I’m a single mother from Ecuador, who came to this country to provide a better life for my children. I was offered a job, but didn’t have anyone to help me take care of my kids. I don’t have any family here, and it was hard to navigate the services available in my community. Thank you Pathways LA team for stepping in and helping me.