By: Elisa Arquieta
Congressman Robert Garcia announced that the Associated Students, Inc. Isabel Patterson Child Development Center at California State University Long Beach may be awarded $3.5 million through Community Project Funding if approved by Congress.
According to the Community Project Funding (CPF) proposal for the fiscal year 2024, the CPF will allocate $3.5 million for infrastructure improvements across the three child development programs at Isabel Patterson Child Development Center (IPCDC).
“I am very excited about the proposed funding as it will support much-needed updates throughout the center,” Alec Cochico, Director at IPCDC, said. “The center is a wonderful place, and this funding will allow that ‘wonderment’ for years to come.”
If awarded, IPCDC could see itself using the funds to make major improvements to make the facilities safer for the children and more energy efficient. According to a statement emailed to families from the IPCDC office, “some of these improvements may include replacing the plumbing and drainage systems, subsequently restoring and upgrading all play yards, replacing the center’s electrical panel and related systems, upgrading all lighting to an energy-efficient LED system, and installing new flooring in all buildings.”
Lisa Harris, infant and toddler assistant director, said, “I am so thankful that Congressman Robert Garcia has allocated this funding to the Isabel Patterson Child Development Center. The upgrades that are proposed will allow our children and families to have a space that meets all safety requirements while providing a rich learning environment in which children can explore, discover, and experience daily.”
Community Project Funding (CPF) allows members of Congress to provide input on how funding will be directed to specific state or local governments or eligible non-profit recipients. Members of Congress can submit CPF requests through an online portal to the Appropriations Committee, where the requests will be competitively evaluated.
According to the Guidance for Community Project Funding, each member of Congress can request funding for up to 15 projects. Congressman Garcia submitted his CPF request on April 13 with 15 projects, six of which are for Long Beach improvements. The former mayor of Long Beach certified that he, his spouse, and his immediate family have no financial interest in any of the projects he has requested, a requirement by the House Rules and Committee.
Isabel Patterson Child Development Center is part of Associated Students, Inc. on the campus of CSULB. They provide child care to 230 children each semester. The three programs are divided by age: infant and toddlers (six months to 2.5 years), the preschool program (2.5 years old to kindergarten age) and the school-age program (after-school care for children in kindergarten to second).
Congressman Garcia said in his disclosure letter to Chairwoman Granger and Ranking Member DeLauro, “The improved facility will provide care to students at CSULB who are earning a degree while raising small children, allowing students to pursue their education while providing high-quality childcare for their kids.”