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VALLEY FOCUS | Valleywide

Off-Hour Child Care Will Be Studied

July 29, 1998|MICHAEL BAKER

Citing the growing demand for child care and the 24-hour nature of Los Angeles' economy, Councilman Mike Feuer asked Tuesday that a city commission study the feasibility of creating a pilot program to care for children during nontraditional working hours.

At Feuer's request, the city's Commission for Children, Youth and their Families will report within 30 days to the Arts, Health and Humanities Committee on possible locations and logistical matters involved in establishing such a program.

Because of reform legislation that speeds the movement of welfare recipients into the work force, child-care resources are becoming increasingly needed, Feuer stated in his motion made in City Council chambers Tuesday.

Providing child care during the hours from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. and weekends could provide an opportunity for many welfare recipients to accept a job, Feuer said.

"Service industries increasingly need employees to work swing, night and weekend shifts," said Feuer, who is the chair of the Arts, Health and Humanities Committee. "There are many good entry-level positions that would provide an economic foothold for people currently unemployed, if only there were adequate and affordable child care."

Feuer's motion calls for an analysis of appropriate child care sites at city facilities and schools, areas in the city with the greatest need for care during nontraditional hours, cost and funding alternatives and appropriate staffing or the proposed program.

"It makes sense to look at schools and city facilities as sites for child care during nontraditional hours," Feuer said. "They already have the necessary licensing, bathrooms, kitchens and space to accommodate such care, and most of them are sitting idle during those hours."

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