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OUR MISSION

Pathways LA's heartfelt mission is empowering and uplifting low-income and vulnerable working families. We believe every child deserves access to high-quality early care and education, regardless of their abilities. We support early care providers with knowledge and resources and are committed to building economically resilient communities. Together, we're making a difference in the lives of families and children, spreading warmth and hope every step of the way.

pathways la

A History of Building Community

Since the very beginning, Pathways LA has been dedicated to helping little ones from communities that face challenges. We believe every child deserves a chance to grow healthy and ready for school.

Our team of caring experts uses data and innovative approaches to support families, childcare providers, community partners, and policymakers. We work with parents and everyone involved in a child’s care to ensure they get the best possible start in life.

1978

1980

1984

1991

1996

2003

Today

1978

Our Beginnings

Educator and activist Bea Gold founded the Children, Youth, and Family Services agency, one of the first private non-profit organizations to receive public funding to support programs for children with disabilities and special needs. 

 

The organization that will eventually become Pathways LA is about ensuring that children with special needs are included and supported in early care and education programs. We believe in focusing on the strengths and abilities of each child, and we’re committed to meeting the needs of families and communities. We’re always striving to improve the quality of our programs, and we’re proud to set an example for others to follow.

1980

Pathways LA is excited to introduce the Resource & Action Project! This unique program is all about providing support and help to Head Start and other early care programs better to serve children with handicapping conditions and their families.

1984

Pathways LA is here to help working parents find the perfect childcare program for their little ones! We’re one of the specialized agencies in Los Angeles County that provide resources and support to help families locate high-quality childcare options. We’re also dedicated to training childcare providers so they can better meet the changing needs of families and communities.

1991

Pathways LA is excited to announce the West Hollywood Preschool Program opening in partnership with the City of West Hollywood and the Los Angeles County Office of Education! Many families face challenges when finding affordable, high-quality childcare and preschool education.

 

That’s why we’re stepping in to help provide a solution. Our program is designed to be inclusive and welcoming to all children, regardless of their background or abilities. We’re here to support low-income, working families, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer a heartwarming place where children can learn, grow, and thrive.

1996

When CalWORKs was enacted, Pathways LA saw an opportunity to make a positive impact on families receiving public assistance. We launched a special program to help these families find high-quality child care for their children while the parents work towards economic independence through jobs, job training, and school attendance.

2003

We’re officially changing our name to Pathways LA. Thanks to our excellent Board of Directors, who are dedicated and involved, we’ve become a leading agency for a unique initiative across the county. It’s all about increasing the capacity of childcare providers to better support children with disabilities and special needs. We call it the Special Needs Advisory Project, or SNAP for short.

 

Through SNAP, we’re creating unique training materials for childcare providers so they can better understand and meet the special needs of these children. We’re also helping parents find and maintain developmentally appropriate childcare placements for their children to thrive in a nurturing and inclusive environment.

Today

Pathways LA is all about helping families access high-quality and inclusive childcare services. We’re positively impacting thousands of families and children every year through our direct service programs, payment assistance programs, provider training activities, and referral and locator services.

 

Our amazing team of over 60 dedicated individuals reflects the linguistic and cultural diversity of the families we serve, ensuring we can connect with and support families from all walks of life. We’re proud to work with over 950 childcare providers, providing them with the training and support they need to offer the best care possible.

 

 

Our Philosophy

  • At Pathways LA, we believe that parents play a crucial role as their child’s first teachers. We are dedicated to supporting parents and caregivers at every step of their parenting journey. Our team of specialists offers personalized assistance to help parents understand and navigate the childcare system, access subsidies, and find licensed childcare providers in their local area. We also provide opportunities for parents to learn more about their child’s development and build family resilience through our Parent Seminars, Play and Learn Groups, Parent Cafes, and Family Events.

     

    Our primary focus is promoting strong relationships between parents and their children and fostering healthy child development. We are honored to partner with parents and caregivers to ensure every child has the best possible start in life. It’s a heartwarming journey of empowerment, support, and growth, and we are committed to being there for parents every step of the way.

  • Childcare providers are the heart and soul of high-quality Early Childhood Education. They play a vital role in our communities, serving children and families across generations. Quality child care positively impacts academic achievement, earning potential, health outcomes, crime reduction, and poverty alleviation. Recognizing the crucial influence of childcare providers, our child development experts are dedicated to training them to be industry leaders and deliver the best care for children.

     

    We help childcare providers obtain their Family Child Care Home License and offer professional development on various topics, including Child Growth and Development, Trauma-Informed Care, Business Development, Nutrition, and Children with Special Needs. Our team provides individualized coaching, technical assistance, and access to cutting-edge resources and funding opportunities. We believe in empowering childcare providers with the knowledge, skills, and support to create a nurturing and stimulating environment for children to thrive.

  • Public policy plays a big role in shaping our children’s lives, including access to affordable and high-quality childcare. Sadly, only 1 in 9 children in California currently have access to child care.

     

    We actively engage in targeted policy advocacy efforts to expand access to quality and affordable childcare, particularly for vulnerable communities. We listen to neighborhood associations, providers, families, and community members to understand their needs and concerns. Then, we work with community volunteers to advise legislators on how public policies impact the childcare industry and advocate for at-risk families in our community.

     

    Investing in Early Childhood Education is critical for our children’s well-being and future success. With the support of our community, we are striving to create positive change and make quality child care more accessible and affordable for all children in our communities.

     

    Take a deeper dive and learn more about our early childhood policy priorities for a more inclusive Los Angeles.

     

We’ve BEEN FEATURED IN
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The assistance I receive from pathways LA helped me get back on my feet. I’m able to provide a better future for my daughter. I am now employed and currently getting my master’s degree.

- Katie L., Parent -