Box 3, Folder 17, Document 91

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Box 3, Folder 17, Document 91

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Economic Opportunity Atlanta, Inc.

O A\ 101 Marietta Street Bldg. e Atlanta, Georgia 30303 e 525-6854
T. M. Parham

Executive Administrator

March 7, 1969

Mr. David C. Cowley, Director
Human Relations Commission
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Dear Mr. Cowley:

his is isn reply to your letter of February 24, for information
roge.dince child care plans for low-income and working mothers.

Yhe Community Action Agency, Economic Opportunity Atlanta, Inc.
was faced with this dilemma at the very beginning of the pro-
gram since Atlanta has a large number of po ewe working
mothers who ave heads of households.

We began by going to voluntary agencies, churches, civic organi--
zations, etc., which were based in low-income areas and asking.
these organizations to consider organizing Cay care centers for
low-income families. We are now contracting with ten (10)
autonomous ageneies which are under contract to run eleven (11)
centers caring for 715 children between the aces of six months
zo nine years. Ninety percent ‘90%) of the ch:.ldren are be-
tween the ages of 3-6 yours. ‘

Originally, we were running as straight day care agencies and
charged a fee per family based on family income. About fifteen
“percent (15%) of our income was derived from fees. ‘Twenty per-
cent (20%) came from the community in the form of voluntary ser-
vices or in-kind contributions. , The rest of our income came
from Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) funds. It is to be
noted that we may rent at only one facility, the rest of our
housing is donated. We are using facilities in five churches,
three housing projects, two remodeled houses and one warehouse.
The cost per child is from $75 to $90 per month.

Mr. David C. Cowley
Page 2
March 7, 1969 ‘

About two and one-half or three years ago, we were incorporated
into full-year, eleven hour, head start. The major changes
were in the improved ratio of adult to child and extended
medical services. As of April 1968, OEO had us discontinue
charging fees. ;

Our present structure consist of a coordinating headquarters
staff including a director, assistant director, program coordi-
nator, volunteer coordinator, and program evaluator. There is
an overall Policy Advisory Committee consisting of parents,
parent representatives, interested professionals and members of
the local community. Each Child Development Center is sepa-
rately incorporated as an autonomous agency with its own board
and staff. Within the guidelines as set forth in the Head
Start Manual, each board sets its own program of -instruction,
personnel policies, parent organization, etc. Each must raise
its twenty percent (20%) community contribution,

We have had central recruitment and training of volunteers. We
handle purchasing and finance centrally through the Community
Action Agency. Also each program is reviewed centrally for
quality contro? and improvement of operation. We have availed
ourselves extensively of stafi’ training opportunities afforded
us through OFO. We also have regular in-service training.

We were faced with many serious problems from the outset, many
of which are still not resolved. Because our local boards

‘were made up largely of the poor with little or no community
experience, many errors in judgment were made in handling funds,
staff selection, and social services. Time and experience has
helped somewhat but we still have a long way to go. Another
area of concern is the lack of qualified staff. Our state offers
no certification for pre-school teachers and there is very
little training through the local colleges, although the Atlanta
Board of Education has inaugurated an extensive program of
evening classes for people in day care on a non-credit, low

fee basis. Perhaps our greatest handicap is insufficient funds
Mr. David C. Cowley
Pagé 3
March. 7, 1969

to attract top quality staff and to extend our services. The
estimate is that 10,000 low-income children need day care and
we are providing for only 715.

I hope our experience has been useful to you. I wish you well
in your enterprise.

Yours truly,

(Mrs:) Gloria S. Gross
Consultant in Child Development


ec: Mr. T. M. Parham
Mr. Dan Sweat


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