Catalyst Community Corner Spotlight
By Kayla Crossen, Jennifer Lawrence & Valerie Kelly
Catalyst Community, formerly known as Choices for Children, is a provider service of Catalyst Family Inc. and is also a non-profit organization that has provided innovative childcare solutions to support children, families, and childcare providers since 1976 in several northern California counties.
Did you know that we offer childcare inside the courthouses? Catalyst Community operates Children’s Waiting Rooms (CWR) in fifteen different locations at the Juvenile, Family Law, and Justice Centers. We have seven locations in Riverside County, three in San Bernardino County, four in Orange County, and one in Santa Clara County. These programs provide licensed-exempt, free drop-in childcare services for families doing business at court facilities. The Children’s Waiting Rooms provide a supervised environment where parents or guardians may leave their child(ren) while conducting business in the court. These programs provide a safe place for children to get away from courtroom situations that are currently happening in their life. We provide enriched, age-appropriate activities such as arts and crafts, puzzles, games, books, and music activities for children.
Catalyst Community Pandemic Response
Nadine Trouyet-Davis, Julia Dirnu, and Carol Ledesma support childcare providers from Catalyst Community in South Lake Tahoe
Since the Governor’s Shelter in Place order was declared in March 2020, Catalyst Community has actively responded to parents and childcare providers in need. Our agency served 27 Essential Workers and At-Risk families with childcare subsidies. We reached out to local employers and provided enhanced childcare referrals to 232 essential workers. Childcare providers were given real-time technical assistance as Community Care Licensing and the Public Health Department regulations continued to become more restrictive with group size reductions, social distancing, personal protective equipment, and sanitation requirements. Catalyst Community also provided 10 rounds of cleaning supplies and funding to 85 childcare programs to support them during the pandemic.
The combination of these resources helped families and childcare providers with concrete supports during this time of need. Childcare gives families the critical support needed in order to go to work and provide for their families. Without emergency childcare efforts, many parents, including essential workers would be burdened with childcare and unable to work. In the time of crisis, we had a solid workforce of dedicated, caring professionals committed to providing quality care for essential workers. We extend our gratitude to Alpine/El Dorado childcare providers and Catalyst Kids for the remarkable efforts in providing the essential service of childcare that builds community resilience.