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For LA Parents, Child Care Can Mean Returning To Work 

With a "beep, beep" and a normal temperature from the thermometer, Mario is welcomed inside Para Los Niños to join his classmates. (KPCC/Mariana Dale)
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Child care is essential to reopening the economy.

We’ve heard it in the words of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, read it in local and nationalheadlines and seen it on TV for months now.

And you can hear it for yourself firsthand standing outside of Para Los Niños’s early education program in Hollywood.

On a recent Monday, Correta Proudie waited to sign in her 3-and-a-half-year-old son Mario, who wore a cloth mask with a yellow cartoon minion on.

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She stayed home with him when the program was closed for in-person services for about six months.

“Now I’m able to look for work during the pandemic,” Proudie said. “I just didn’t feel comfortable leaving him with any one all day long. So it’s made a tremendous difference in our lives.”

Proudie is lucky to have a spot to bring her son. The Los Angeles County Office of Education reports that just 28% of the early education classrooms it oversees are open and 5,168 kids are in virtual learning programs.



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