In January 1988, the Kern County Board of Supervisors established the Kern County Commission on Child Care. It was created to advise the Board of Supervisors on all matters relating to child care with a major focus on identifying service gaps and providing recommended solutions.

There are currently 58 individual planning councils representing each county in California. The primary mission of the LPCs is to plan for child care and development services based on the needs of families in the local community. Through collaborative efforts with other individuals and organizations interested in the welfare of families, LPCs should also support the existing child care infrastructure by coordinating services that are locally available.

As a result of planning, collaboration, and support for the child care systems that currently exist, the LPCs plan and determine local priorities for new state and federal funds. In order to be fully effective, councils are highly encouraged to strengthen the partnerships with both public and private organizations in each county. By forming strong community partnerships, each group involved becomes empowered to share their ideas and concerns during the local planning process.

In 1992, the Kern County Board of Supervisors and the Kern County Superintendent of Schools jointly appointed the Council as the Local Child Care and Development Planning Council for Kern County. This appointment further enhanced its ability to facilitate the development of a more comprehensive child care delivery system for Kern County.

Although new language on governing local child care planning councils is found in the welfare reform legislation, the purpose and scope of the LPC goes beyond child care programs funded by the federal block grant. LPCs are intended to serve as a forum to address the child care needs of all families in the community and in all child care programs – including both subsidized and non-subsidized child care.

In January 2009 the Kern County Early childhood council changed its name to the Early Childhood Council of Kern.  This new name accurately describes the population in which the Council is vested.  High quality early childhood services are of the utmost importance to the Council, therefore, many training opportunities are offered throughout the year for both center-based and family child care providers,and the early childhood field in general is located on the web site at www.earlychildhoodkern.org

Early Childhood Council of Kern – Mandates
Education Code 8499.5
LPC shall do all of the following:

  1. Elect a chair
  2. Employ, as an LPC Coordinator, staff person(s) equivalent to at least one full-time position as well as support staff as deemed necessary to meet LPC roles and responsibilities.
  3. Conduct an assessment of child care needs at least once every five years including data on supply, demand, cost, and market rates for each category of child care in the county. Submit the results of the needs assessment and the local priorities identified by the LPC to the County Board of Supervisors and the County  Superintendent of Schools for approval before submitting to the California  Department of Education.
  4. Invite public input in the development of local geographical priorities including at least one public hearing during which members of the public can comment of the proposed priorities.When legislation does not identify specific target populations or geographic areas to be served in allocating expansion funds, the CDD will use these LPC priorities for the purpose of allocating new state and federal funds within each county.
  5. Prepare a comprehensive countywide child care plan designed to mobilize public and private resources to address identified needs.
  6. Conduct a periodic review of child care programs funded by the California Department of Education and California Department of Social Services to determine if identified priorities are being met.
  7. Collaborate with all interested parties, including but not be limited to subsidized and non-subsidized child care providers, county welfare departments, human service agencies, regional centers, job training programs, employers, integrated child and family service councils, local and state children and families commissions, parent organizations, early start family resource centers, family empowerment centers on disabilities, and local child care resource and referral programs to foster partnerships designed to meet local child care needs.
  8. Facilitate community-based efforts to coordinate part-day programs including state preschool and Head Start with other child care and development services to provide full-day, full-year child care and development services based on guidelines and funding models approved by state and federal agencies.
  9. Develop and implement a training plan to provide increased efficiency, productivity, and facilitation of LPC meetings.

The Early Childhood Council of Kern is a resource for data on the supply and demand for child care in Kern County.  This information may be of use to programs for a variety of purposes.  including the writing of grants for subsidized child care services.  For more information regarding the type of data available, contact the Early Childhood Council of Kern office at (661) 861-5274.