Do You Care for Kids Ages 5 and Under? We Want Your Help

Tonia McMillian is a longtime child care provider based in Bellflower. (Priska Neely/KPCC)

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The pandemic has put caregiving front and center. Parents now working from home have scrambled to care for their kids without their usual support systems. When daycare and child care centers closed, many family, friends, and neighbors stepped up so parents could earn a living. Caregivers and providers who have kept their doors open have had to take on extra responsibilities to keep families safe, stretching their resources.

Last year, before the pandemic began, KPCC/LAist passed out cameras to a group of parents, inviting them to document their lives. An online gallery featuring their stories will launch soon. (Stay tuned!)

And now we're ready to do it again — this time focusing on people who care for other people's children. We are looking for 12 participants who reflect the broad spectrum of experiences of caregivers and educators in Southern California. This can include family, friends, or neighbors, professional or informal caregivers, those who speak English or other languages, educators who work with kids in the subsidized child care system, those who are caring for kids of essential workers, those caring for children with special needs, grandparent caregivers, aunties, and more.

We want to know: What is important to know about your life as a caregiver or educator?

People who are interested can apply below by Sunday, August 9 (http://kpcc.org/caregiverphotos) (Or in Spanish at http://kpcc.org/proyectodefotos). You are also welcome to nominate caregivers or educators who you think would be good for this.

Some things to know:

  • No photography experience is needed. In fact, we encourage people who have never done this kind of thing before to participate. We'll lend participants a camera and provide them with all the tips and support they need.
  • Participants will gain photo skills, have an opportunity to tell their story via KPCC-LAist platforms, and hopefully impact the way that decision-makers think about early childhood. They will also work closely with editors and reporters to share their experiences.
  • The time commitment is:
    • Attending three (virtual) meetings
    • Taking photos and gathering audio through the course of the project
    • Doing an audio interview with a reporter
    • And, depending on health and safety guidelines, attending one event online or in person in the Spring/Summer of 2021.
  • Participants will receive a modest stipend for their participation.

If you're interested yourself or know someone you want to nominate please fill out the form below and KPCC/LAist's early childhood team will read every response. We will not share anything publicly without your permission.