Free Escondido child care program closing, leaves parents in lurch

ESCONDIDO - A popular day care program that is suddenly closing has left parents scrambling to find alternatives for their children.

The Child Development Program provides free before and after school child care at Felicita and Lincoln elementary schools in Escondido. It is run through the Palomar Family YMCA. This week, 45 families were informed the program will end in June.

Elaine Gonzalez is a single mother with two children, 5-year-old Evelyn and 11-month-old Elyse.

"We're just trying to make it," Gonzalez said Friday.

A big part of making ends meet has been the child care program at Felicita Elementary for her daughter Evelyn.

"It's been awesome, really, it's like a second family to her," Gonzalez said.

According to Gonzalez, the families were told they would be transferred to other programs, but she has not heard anything since.

"So far, no calls,” Gonzales said. “I spoke to other families, and our director, and no calls."

Team 10 learned that a major reason for the closure is the change in state reimbursement fees for day cares.

Gonzalez said that if she has to pay for child care, she will have to give up either her car, which gets her to work, or the apartment.

"It's one or the other,” Gonzalez said. “There is just no way. I don't get help with my 11-month-old. She doesn't go to a daycare. I pay out of pocket."

The YMCA told Team 10 they are committed to ensuring Gonzalez and the other families get into other YMCA or similar child care programs.

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