The new Educare Los Angeles at Long Beach center, located at Barton Elementary School, has been completed and will soon open its doors to 159 children, from infants to five-year-olds.
The program, which has been serving students ages 3 to 5 since last September in temporary classrooms on campus, is partially funded by Measure K, the $1.2 billion school bond measure approved by Long Beach voters in 2008.
Further funded through a public-private collaboration of organizations and individuals committed to providing high-quality care and learning for low-income families, the project is the first facility of its kind in Southern California.
The center will serve as a hub for modeling how early learning programs can provide quality early childhood education, partner with families and advocate for education practice and policy.
As one of 22 schools in the national Educare Learning Network, the facility will offer free and low-cost state preschool and Head Start programs to neighborhood youngsters.
The partnership includes the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach Education Foundation, LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment, The Advancement Project, the Educare Learning Network, Buffett Early Childhood Fund, Ounce of Prevention Fund and other private donors.
The project consists of four modular buildings totaling 32,000 square feet. The two-story administration and support services building and three one-story classroom buildings surround a central outdoor educational and playground space.
Because the buildings were pre-fabricated, the site was completed in just over one year, compared to more than two years for a typical new construction project of this size.
The project includes a new 68-space parking lot to be shared by the Educare facility and Barton Elementary School staff with an 18-space visitor and student drop-off parking lot for Educare.