San Mateo County leaders seek more child care solutions

When the pandemic hit, childcare was not included in the state emergency plan, yet the sudden changes due to COVID-19 exacerbated so many parts of the current child care systems that need attention and investment. Although our partners did an extraordinary job maintaining stability for parents and providers during the crisis, more support for childcare is crucial. This month, we had the opportunity to meet with US Representative Jackie Speier. Speier plans to take these local concerns back to Washington. She believes that child care should be a key focus of the impending infrastructure bill, suggesting $700 billion be spent on child care improvements over the next 10 years.

Read more about the impact of this historic moment, the discussion with Rep. Speier, and the contributions of local organizations in advocating for systemic change from the top.

Kitty Lopez has served as the Executive Director of First 5 San Mateo County since 2012, focusing on policy, advocacy and communications development. Additionally, she is the Chair of First 5 Association of California. Kitty previously served as the Executive Director of Samaritan House, one of the leading safety-net nonprofit agencies serving low-income families and individuals in San Mateo County with food, shelter, clothing, health care, counseling, education classes, and holiday assistance from 2002 to 2012.

Kitty taught kindergarten, second grade, and high school in the Bay Area and in Santa Barbara, and was a consultant in schools with children who have autism and special needs. Additionally, Kitty worked in a residential substance abuse treatment center in San Francisco and psychiatric hospital in San Diego.

She attended University of California Santa Barbara earning a California Teaching Credential and B.A in Psychology. Kitty is active in her community serving on several community boards including HEART (Housing Endowment and Regional Trust of San Mateo County), STEP (Success Through Education Program), and Past President and Current Member of the San Mateo Rotary Club.