Ten Orange County agencies, including six school districts, are among those being awarded newly provided state money to start, or expand, day-care centers for latchkey children.
Latchkey children are those who go home from school to empty houses, if they are able to go home at all. A state study has estimated there are 800,000 such children in the state.
New legislation provides $15.3 million a year for before- and after-school care programs for latchkey children, aged 6 to 13. Of that amount this year, the 10 Orange County agencies will get $985,300, said Barbara Tardif, of the state Department of Education.
The Orange County superintendent of schools' office is getting a total of $163,313; Orange Unified School District, $101,148; City of La Habra, $100,000; Capistrano Unified School District, $51,797; Irvine Unified School District, $95,000; Centralia School District, $95,000; Children's Home Society of California in Santa Ana, $100,000; Anaheim City School District, $88,200; City of Irvine, $98,375, and Fullerton School District, $92,467.
According to state estimates, about 612 Orange County latchkey children will have their care paid for this year under the new legislation.