2020 Healthy Kids Coalition Fund
Legal-name: Long Beach Day Nursery
Address: 1548 Chestnut Ave.
City: Long Beach
Officer-title: Executive Director
Mission: The mission of Long Beach Day Nursery is to provide high quality early care and education for young children of working parents.
Title: Associate Executive Director
Grantpurpose: Address healthcare needs for underserved children in Long Beach.
What-is-project: The Long Beach Day Nursery believes that children need to be healthy in order to learn; thus, children need to have access to screenings and support for vision, dental, hearing, and mental health care. Thousands of young children will not receive preventive care or treatment for urgent problems when needed due to socioeconomic status. For some, undiagnosed problems will set them on a lifelong of poor health and prevent them from fully taking advantage of their critical early learning years. Our Healthy Connections Program aims to mitigate those challenges by providing children with access to vision, dental, hearing, and mental health screenings and corresponding support.
Healthy Connections offers on-site health screenings and educational programs at LBDN. The program assists families in early identification of health concerns and provides linkage to community resources to address identified needs. We have found that families are often unable to take time off from work to take their children in for screenings; many work in low-wage jobs and would often lose pay to do so. Providing on-site screenings, we are able to discover health concerns sooner and make the necessary referrals to prevent further issues. We also provide for a child’s mental, emotional, physical, social and intellectual resilience in a safe and healthy environment through accredited child care and a whole family Early Intervention Program.
This project is a particularly good fit for the Long Beach Community Foundation as our West Branch is located in the Washington neighborhood, zip code 90813, one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in the city. Poverty saddles children with a seemingly insurmountable disadvantage at perhaps the most critical time in their lives. 90% of a child’s brain growth occurs between birth and the age of five. Children in poverty, however, frequently do not have access to the same developmental resources during this vital time. If a child does not have access to basic health screenings and support, the lack of preventative care can distract from learning at this critical time. LBDN ensures every child in our care has access to preventative measures so they can take advantage of our nationally accredited education program, putting them on par with their peers upon entering kindergarten.
High-quality preschool programs are proven to raise academic performance and give children the skills to be successful and contribute to society in kindergarten and beyond. ECE programs reduce crime rates, and both participants and their parents enjoy higher median income rates than their counterparts who were not afforded the same opportunity. They are significantly more likely to graduate from high school and are 2.5 times more likely to continue on to higher education. Building up ECE programs is also one of the smartest investments we can make. Studies show that on average, society sees a return of $7 for every $1 invested in ECE.
How-will-you-succeed: Children’s growth and development will be tracked as each child is given opportunities to reach their full potential and are prepared for entry into kindergarten.
– Every child has a Desired Results Developmental Profile, observations, art samples, writing samples, dictations and photographs.
– The Desired Results Developmental Profile will be completed for each child at the appropriate increments for their age group; this includes developmental milestones and tracks children on the continuum of learning and physical development.
– Healthy Connections will conduct health screenings for vision, hearing, and dental. Screening results will be shared in writing with parents with appropriate referrals. LBDN will track the # of screenings conducted and referrals made.
– A consulting licensed psychologist, with a specialty in children 0-5, will observe children monthly. As appropriate, referrals will be made to our in-house Early Intervention Program and/or to outside agencies. Teachers, administrators and parents will be involved in this process.
Additionally, we will continue to ensure that our programming is of the utmost quality through numerous annual assessments which include: a self-evaluation with direction from the California Department of Education (CDE) followed every 3-5 years with an onsite review, classroom environmental assessments, parent and staff surveys. In addition to the above, the greatest evaluation of our overall high-quality programing is the continuation of our accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Both our West and East Branches have been continuously accredited since 1989 and 1991 respectively, and were re-accredited in 2014 and 2018. Accreditation requires intense ongoing self-evaluation, meeting standards far above those of typical child care regulation, and an on-site evaluation and observation from a trained NAEYC program assessor.
LBDN has a well-rounded approach to sustainability. LBDN has a Strategic Plan to support our work and it continues to guide our work even with changing regulations and spatial restrictions from COVID-19. We have solid relationships with individual supporters, foundations, and within our ongoing government contracts. We have endowments that support both programs and core operating funds. Over the past two years LBDN more than tripled the number of on-site support hours of our groundbreaking Early Intervention Program, which provides a full slate of supports to children with identified special needs, social/emotional challenges, and/or behavior concerns and their families and teachers. We will continue to seek additional funding through our partners in order to sustain this important work as we face unprecedented budget shortfalls with Covid-19 challenges. We appreciate the opportunity to apply here for support of our critical wrap around healthcare programs.
Who-are-you: Founded in 1912, Long Beach Day Nursery (LBDN) was one of the first licensed child care programs in California. LBDN is much more than just a child care center, but rather an iconic Long Beach institution that continuously pushes the envelope of what it means to be a high-quality early childhood education program.
LBDN typically serves 300 children annually; currently we serve 155 children ages 6 weeks to 6 years old at two physical sites and, since COVID-19, via Distance Learning, in Long Beach. Our West Branch is located in the Washington neighborhood, one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in the city, plagued with high poverty, crime, violence/gang activity; and, while our East Branch is located in a middle-class neighborhood, many of the children that attend that site are also from low income families. Both sites remain true to our mission and serve children of working parents while providing access to high quality learning opportunities. Our programs are research based, developmentally appropriate, and have, since the 1990’s, continuously received the highest accolades of accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
Our programming includes: healthy connections and nutrition program, on-site early intervention program, a focus on social emotional development, early literacy, science, and math curriculum, low teacher child ratios, continuity of care practices, Stepping Stones Scholarships, parent engagement, and a formal professional development and scholarship program for our staff. When children graduate LBDN we are confident the high-quality early education received within our program has prepared them for success in kindergarten and beyond.
LBDN leadership and staffing is strong and includes experts in all aspects of early childhood education as well as nonprofit practices. Our Board of Directors is active and engaged. And we are also proud to have a strong set of Honorary Board members who termed out of board service after 9 years of service. These members, many of whom served on the Strategic Planning Task Force, include some of the communities’ most prominent and generous philanthropists whom still work to strengthen LBDN.
Additionally, LBDN values collaboration and has put emphasis on building and engaging in meaningful partnerships. Collaborations, networks and coalitions include:
– Lion’s Club, USC Dental School, Children and Families Inc
– Long Beach Early Childhood Education Committee, a partnership with 30+ organizations working towards ensuring children in Long Beach are healthy, safe, and educated
– Child360; Early Head Start Partnership providing additional support and resources for children living in extreme poverty, such as: a nutritionist, family advocates, parent trainings, mental health support, and teacher coaching.
– Long Beach Unified School District