Betty Factor, 82, an educational therapist who co-founded the Mar Vista Family Center, died Monday of complications of cancer at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center, said her daughter, Diane.
The child-care center Betty and Monte Factor established in 1977 near the Mar Vista Gardens housing project came to be seen as a national model for early childhood development. Funded by private and public money, it was established to provide free child care to working families and emphasized education and personal responsibility.
Parents were required to help out at the center so they could become more involved in the community, and many studied child development through UCLA Extension.
Born Feb. 4, 1924, in Seattle, Betty Berch moved to Los Angeles in 1929 with her parents, Samuel and Rose Berch. The Russian-Jewish immigrants owned Arden Farms Dairy on Slauson Avenue and were founding members of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in the Mid-Wilshire district.
Factor earned a bachelor's degree at UCLA and married Monte Factor in 1945. Together they operated the Monte Factor/Jerry Rothschild clothing store in Beverly Hills, were active in social causes and collected contemporary art.