Tuesday’s opening of a nonprofit childcare facility means working families in Bayview have one more affordable place to try and get their kids admitted to.
About 70 neighborhood infants, toddlers, and preschoolers will receive affordable care through a new $1.4 million facility, called FranDelJA Fairfax. Acting Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Malia Cohen celebrated the opening Tuesday, repeatedly hailed as an incredible moment for Bayview and the city.
“Every child should have a clean, safe and inviting place to learn, grow and play,” Breed says in a statement. “When we rebuild our public housing, it is not just about replacing the structures, it is about providing services that uplift and strengthen our communities for future generations.”
Sisters Gladys Harris and Sandra Young first started the nonprofit at 950 Gilman Street, near the Alice Griffith public housing building. Their second facility — which rebuilt a dilapidated public housing site on Fairfax Avenue, near India Basin in Hunters View — means they now serve 140 local children, according to the Mayor’s Office.
FranDelJA provides early childhood education to low-income families in Bayview, touting full-day services and specialized staffing. Census data from 2016 shows that more than 12,000 children up to nine years old reside in Bayview-Hunters Point.
The city selected FranDelJA for a long-term affordable lease in exchange for additional childcare services. HOPE SF, the John Stewart Company, Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, and the San Francisco Office of Early Care and Education helped pull the resources together.
“The new FranDelJA Fairfax center means more children in Bayview Hunters Point will have an opportunity to develop and learn in a safe environment,” says Harris, executive director of the FranDelJA Enrichment Center. “For more than 15 years we have worked in and with this community to create opportunities for learning and growth for children and the people who love them.”
San Franciscans shell out an average of $1,900 per month on infants, according to Children’s Council San Francisco. Finding affordable and high-quality places to leave children all day is a struggle as childcare centers are increasingly priced out of the city.