Mayor Tom Bradley is to be commended for his forward-looking proposal to provide child-care and tutoring for the children of Los Angeles' working poor (Part I, April 19). It is rare that politicians conceive of programs whose payoff will come long after they have left office.
This plan deserves our vigorous support but we must not think of it as a panacea. It will only be as good as the parents make it. If the children go home to a situation that does not value education, that sees the program as only a solution to child care, then Bradley's program will be operating in a vacuum.
I suggest that money be budgeted to assess the learning needs of the parents as well as the children and that the parents be tutored in whatever basic skills they need to actively participate in their children's learning. Without this joint effort of school and home I fear this program stands little chance of breaking the cycle of poverty and despair that provides a breeding ground for gangs.