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How To LA: Finding Child Care In LA

An image of a Black woman with short hair pulled back with a headband and purple glasses holding a baby, their head laying on her shoulder. A half-filled bottle is in the foreground of the image.
Tonia McMillian is a longtime child care provider based in Bellflower.
(Priska Neely
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It’s hard to believe that Rugrats, one of my favorite shows of all time, came out 32 years ago. Yes, Tommy Pickles and I are basically the same age. One of the aspects of the cartoon that I now think about is why wasn’t there anyone watching the kids? I know, I know … it’s a cartoon and a baby’s gotta do what a baby’s gotta do. Well, technically, Grandpa Lou was in charge, but many people don’t have family close by or their relatives are still working themselves.

Searching for child care

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Babies need all the care they can get for their development. And taking care of them is truly a 24/7 job on top of the work that parents already have to do to pay the bills.

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Finding the best-fit people and facilities to take care of a new child can be absolutely challenging. For one thing, child care has been expensive and complicated for decades. There’s also not enough places for every child that needs it in L.A.

Don’t fear. You can start now. The sooner you research, the better your chances are of finding something that fits your livelihood and the baby’s development.

My colleague Mariana Dale spoke with several parents, child care providers and advocates to create a comprehensive guide on how to start looking for childcare in L.A.

She has the 411 on the following: 

  • The different kinds of child care. 
  • Questions to ask yourself and child care providers.
  • Resource and referral agencies (R&R)
  • How to find financial help. 
  • Nannies … and so much more. 
An image of A Black woman with her hair tied up and glasses, sitting on the floor with a child, both holding plastic play telephones up to their ears.
Family child care provider Jackie Jackson plays telephone with a child at her home child care center.
(Jackie Jackson for LAist)

While you’re taking notes from this roadmap, don’t forget to check out the LAist Early Childhood Education team’s pregnancy guides. If you have any questions about your journey, sign up for our expert-guided text service by texting “heybb” to 73224.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More news

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • A California Highway Patrol sergeant and six CHP officers were charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Edward Bronstein in 2020. My colleagues Frank Stoltze and Robert Garrova have more on this developing story. 
  • L.A., Riverside and Orange are among the eight California counties that will take part in a statewide initiative for families who have loved ones with severe mental health illnesses. NPR’s Eric Westervelt has more information on this court-ordered program. 
  • After three years and $5 million worth of repairs, The Queen Mary in Long Beach has opened back up for tourists. It will reopen for the public this Saturday. My colleagues Tiffany Ujiiye and Jessica Ogilvie have shared more details on what needed to be repaired (and what still needs to be repaired) throughout the years. 
  • Everything Everywhere All At Once is just one example of a movie with a diverse cast that can have big box office. But a new study from UCLA revealed that even though movies with diverse casts often bring in more money, the film industry is still not making enough progress when it comes to diversity within its ranks.
  • It’s festival season, friends. Let’s chat about some of the events we have this upcoming weekend. Do you geek out when you see BTS footage of your favorite TV shows? Attend PaleyFest 2023 at the Dolby Theatre starting tomorrow through Tuesday, April 4. Looking for a family event that gets excited about science and bubbles? Go to Bubblefest at the Discovery Cube in Orange County. Do you like getting spooked by the paranormal? Check out the Parapod Festival at the Hyatt Regency Valencia this weekend. 
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  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

Wait... One More Thing

Let's Eat Vegan Armenian Cuisine

(Samanta Helou Hernandez

One of my favorite cuisines is Mediterranean food, so I was elated to read Liz Ohanesian’s latest article about where to get some delicious Armenian eats that would satisfy my taste buds — without meat. Now, I’m not vegan — at all — but sometimes it’s good to go meatless for a day or two.

Liz takes us to Carousel, a 40-year-old Lebanese-Armenian restaurant that has locations in Hollywood and Glendale, where they serve up some plant-based, mindful meals.

Workers at Carousel make sarma, a vegan dish of stuffed grape leaves.
(Samanta Helou Hernandez

The tradition behind Armenian vegan foods is rooted in the Armenian Apostolic faith, in which practitioners often adopt a vegan diet for Lent.

Read more of Liz’s story to see how community is built through Armenian food and how people practice their own traditions at home.

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