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South Bay Digest

Redondo Beach : Child-Care Center Wins Support of City Council

May 16, 1985

Parents of the more than 200 children who attend the Aladdin child-care centers at the former Fulton Elementary School won the support of the City Council this week in their struggle to keep the centers open.

The City Council, responding to a request from Aladdin Day Care Center director Mary Grugal, directed City Manager Timothy Casey to meet with representatives from Aladdin and the city's elementary school district in an effort to avert Aladdin's eviction from the Fulton site.

The school board last week rejected a bid by Aladdin for a seven-year lease at the former elementary school, where Aladdin has operated a day-care center since 1981 and an infant-care center since 1983. Aladdin's current one-year lease expires at the end of June.

The trustees granted the seven-year lease to Coast Christian School, a nonprofit school affiliated with Calvary Church of the Coastlands in Torrance. The school district ruled that Aladdin's offer did not meet minimum bid specifications set by the district because it relied on state aid.

"God only knows that we need these good day-care centers," said Councilman Archie Snow in urging the council to assist Aladdin in its appeal of the school board's decision. "It is our responsibility to help them."

Grugal said the day-care centers have asked the school board to reconsider its decision at its meeting on May 28. She said it would be a tragedy for Aladdin to close for the "wrong reasons" with child-care centers throughout the South Bay closing for the "right reasons." A half-dozen child-care centers have closed in the South Bay in the past year because of allegations of child molestation.

School board members, while pleased with the Aladdin programs, said the Coast Christian bid offered greater financial security for the district.

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