One of the great stories from Ocean Beach in the Seventies was the creation and development of what we used to call “people’s institutions” – or “alternatives” to mainstream institutions. OB activists started, for example, the OB Rag as an alternative to the mainstream press. Other alternatives included People’s Food Co-op as an alternative to Safeway and the lack of organic food. The OB People’s Free School was begun as an alternative to the at-times dullifying public schools. And then there was the Ocean Beach Childcare Project.
The OB Childcare Project was begun by activists and local parents and teachers who saw the great need then for day care or child care for working parents or single moms. At the time, there wasn’t any inexpensive day care around. Finally, locals negotiated with the School District which allowed them to take over the building on the same block as the OB Elementary School, clean it up, and initiate a child care center.
The Project opened to the oohs and ahhs of many and it was staffed by local activists and teachers. It filled a vital need that had been overlooked in the rush for a consumer society.
Since then, the center moved to a site on Chatsworth Boulevard, near the intersection with Nimitz, where it has been ever since. I don’t know what year it moved or what the details were, but the center worked out an agreement with the City of San Diego to rent two houses the City owned. I know my own daughter was there years ago when she was but a tot. (Now she’s 21.)
The Center is now in funding trouble. Here is the Channel 10 News version:
Local Day Care’s Future Hinges On State Budget
Ocean Beach Child Care Project Could Close Its Doors Mid-September If State Budget Is Not Signed
10News.com / August 12, 2010
SAN DIEGO — A local day care center is among the many state-funded facilities that face closure if the state’s budget is not signed in the next few weeks.
Many parents across California wonder how they will take care of their children amid this budget crisis, including Sasha Cruse, who takes her child to the Ocean Beach Child Care Project. “I just finished law school and passed the bar,” Cruse said. “This is the only way that I could do what I need to do.”
The Ocean Beach Child Care Project has 46 children enrolled and is currently running on donations.
For the remainder of the article and for the video, go here.