Child Care Providers (A.K.A. “Gapbusters”) Host 3-day Statewide Bus Tour

Child Care Providers who offer quality early education out of their own homes hosted the “Gapbusters” bus tour—a 3‐day, 7‐stop tour from February 18th through February 20th, 2014, to highlight the uniquely powerful roles that early  childhood education and care play in preparing California’s kids for school and closing the achievement gap.

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson joined the tour in San Diego on February 18th and traveled to Ramona’s Day Care in Long Beach later that afternoon. For 19 years, Child Care Provider Ramona Duran has given children in her neighborhood the necessary early enrichment that studies show ensures success in school and later in life.

Check out the PRESS COVERAGE:

“From child care provider to community organizer: one woman’s story”
Listen to the story!
(see “Listen Now” link at left of page)

“Gapbusters Tour highlights contributions of family child care providers”

Read the story!

Univision 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Bakersfield-CP_and_paint Read SEIU Local 99 Executive Director Courtni Pugh’s thoughts from the road!

Watch a video to learn more about Family Child Care Providers:
Hidden Gems in Our Communities!

“Gapbusters” Tour Schedule

Tuesday, February 18th
STOP 1 9:30 A.M. San Diego
STOP 2  2:00 P.M. Long Beach
Wednesday, February 19th
 STOP 3  9:00 A.M.  Bakersfield
 STOP 4  1:00 P.M.  Fresno
 STOP 5  6:00 P.M.  San Jose
Thursday, February 20th
 STOP 6  9:00 A.M.  Oakland
 STOP 7  12:00 P.M.  Sacramento

Ramona-reads-to-children-for-web“I help parents dream big dreams for their children. When children from my program get to kindergarten, they are in the top of their class and they stay there throughout their school career,” said Ramona about closing the achievement gap. “Sometimes parents come to me in distress. Many work multiple jobs in order to care for their family. They don’t always have the time to teach their children everything they need to succeed in school. I make sure their children know that they can be anything in life…and then I give them the tools to do it!”

Child care providers know that by the time children reach elementary school, their chances of success are already determined. Providers want to make sure our leaders in Sacramento know that Governor Brown’s new school funding formula, which ensures our neediest schools receive more funding, is a great step. But it will never accomplish its goals if California continues to neglect its early education system. Quality early learning is absolutely essential to closing the education achievement gap. Studies show:

  • 90% of brain development has already occurred by the time children enter kindergarten;
  • The language gap among children appears as early as 18 months old;
  • Achievement gaps present when a child begins school persist through that child’s educational career;
  • The U.S. has the highest college drop-out rate in the developed world, endangering our economy.

The “Gapbusters” Bus Tour highlights the important contributions of family child care providers across the state. At the various stops along this tour, participants saw firsthand that inside neighborhood homes with the cute signs in front, children learn from rich curriculum and gain important social skills. Family child care providers make up a vital part of California’s early education infrastructure and are especially valuable for families with non-traditional work hours. Their more intimate setting is also ideal for children with special needs.

“We’re excited about this bus tour, which opens the doors on these magical spaces where children are prepared to achieve their dreams. Child care providers are a vital part of our community’s infrastructure. We know now that full-time, high-quality early education can completely eliminate the achievement gap for low-income children under the age of three. But we’re not acting on that knowledge with enough urgency—we’re still failing so many children,” said SEIU Local 99 Executive Director Courtni Pugh. “We urge Governor Brown to commit to real, long-term investment in early learning, to prioritize the recruitment and retention of quality child care providers, and to restore the more than $1 billion that was cut from the system since the economic crisis began.”

Family child care providers are strong advocates for children and families and have urged the Governor to restore the 110,000 children who have been cut from child care programs and to grant providers a stronger, united voice by signing the Quality Child Care Act, AB 641.


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