Children Today Provides Free Child Care to Long Beach Kids

share this: recently spoke with Amber Ginsberg, Development Manager of Children Today, via email. They talked about the inspirations and challenges of running a nonprofit organization in Long Beach.

How long has Children Today been around? Did it start in Long Beach?

One evening in the mid 1990s, a young mother was driving down a busy street in Long Beach when she spotted a toddler wearing only a diaper, running alone, his parents nowhere to be seen. By the time she managed to turn her car around, the child was gone. Haunted by that image, she inquired about where preschool-aged children could go while their parents looked for work and housing, and found a shocking dearth of services. Recognizing this serious unmet need for the care of young children experiencing homelessness, she and a friend determined to make a change. In 1997, they founded Children Today, a non-profit organization that provides free childcare, preschool and family support services to some of the most vulnerable families in Long Beach.

Describe Children Today. Tell us a little about your nonprofit, your mission, the people you serve or your goals.

Children Today operates two facilities – The Play House West and The Play House North – with a combined capacity to provide free, high-quality child care, preschool, and family support services to 64 children and their families daily. The mission of Children Today is to provide community-based services to children and families facing homelessness, fostering long-term stability and success. Our vision is that all children under age six will have a safe, nurturing environment where they can spend their days playing, learning and growing, while their parents take steps toward stability.

How is Children Today different from similar nonprofits?

We are the only ones in this area doing this type of work; we serve as the county model.

How is Children Today involved with the community?

The community is involved with us! We serve children and families experiencing homelessness in Long Beach and engage as many people in the community as we can with our events and outreach efforts.

What are some of the biggest successes Children Today has had?

This program has the capacity to serve 32 children at a time: 6 infants, 8 toddlers, and 18 preschoolers. The Play House West is one of only three emergency service providers to be accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) — the gold standard measure for quality early care and education programs in the nation.

What is the most rewarding part of running Children Today?

Knowing that we have the capacity to impact children in the most vital years of their development.

What are the challenges you face — as a nonprofit, as an advocacy group, or in your industry?

Like most nonprofits, we are always striving to get “out there” more as well as engage new donors and community partners.

What are the future plans for Children Today?

Our goal is to realize our mission, every single day, and grow as the needs of the population we serve does.

Do you have any special events or fundraisers you’d like to tell us about?

  • June 11, 2011
    Children Today’s 3rd Annual Run/Walk – Belmont Pier
  • August 2011
    Children Today’s 3rd Annual Golf Tournament – Old Ranch Country Club
  • November 17th, 2011 (tentative)
    Children Today’s 14th Annual Holiday Cheer Event – ARCO Towers

How can people get involved with Children Today? What do you need — volunteers, donations, etc?

Donations, we have a wish list online! We also would love as many people to come out and join us in June for our 3rd Annual Run/Walk at the Belmont Pier on June 11th.

Children Today Details:

Address: PO Box 16004
Phone Number: (562) 432-1224

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