In 1976, Connections For Children (CFC) was founded in Santa Monica as one of the first childcare and referral agencies in California. Now, 40 years later, CFC has helped tens of thousands of families meet their needs of childcare and early education.
Today, CFC helps more than 3,000 families annually of all income levels obtain quality child care arrangements, including free referrals, parent education and family development resources.
“Our mission has always been to build a stronger future for children, families and our communities through quality child care resources, education and guidance,” says Patti Oblath, executive director and 16-year employee. “We thank our supporters for the past 40 years of success and look forward to a future of continued excellence, said the Santa Monica resident.
“40 years of service really adds up,” continued Oblath. For example, we’ve fielded 165,000 requests for information and referrals; 35,000 children have benefitted from financial aid, and we’ve provided 37,500 hours of coaching for early educators.”
The number we’re most proud of is how much we’ve added to the local economy and the small businesses that provide childcare. In the past 40 years through child care referrals and financial assistance, it’s an impressive $185,000,000!” she exclaimed.
Last year alone, CFC contributed an estimated $5,163,225 into the local economy, served 12% of Los Angeles’ population, as far north as Malibu and as far south as Rancho Palos Verdes, encompassing 14 cities on the Westside and South Bay.
“We’ve enjoyed many collaborations along the way,” said Board of Directors President Iao Katagiri. “In our early days, real estate developer Doug Pardee made a significant donation to boost the program. The City of Santa Monica also granted seed money to develop childcare resource and referral services with the City.
“Later, we forged successful collaborations with UCLA , as well as with Santa Monica and El Camino Community Colleges, all committed to quality child care. In addition, we were one of the first organizations funded by First 5 LA, said Katagiri.
The words of a parent whose son was able to start preschool while she went to work say it all: “Quite literally CFC saved my life. It was the ray of hope and help and bridged the gap between barely surviving and enjoying a happy home! Happy anniversary, Connections For Children!”