Childcare centers bear the pandemic


Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Friday, June 24th.>>>>

The dire need for child care.

More on that next. But first… let’s do the headlines….


The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday struck down a New York law that limits who can get a permit to carry a gun in public.

The ruling is expected to impact California’s concealed carry laws.

Chris Ward represents a large swath of San Diego County’s coastal region in the state assembly.

“We’re talking already. introducing legislation to specify where a concealed weapon could be carried. You know we’re having to think about how we turn the assessment of dangerousness as a consideration for how concealed carry permits could be issued.”

The San Diego County Sheriff Department issued a statement saying the county is bracing for an increase in the number of people applying for concealed carry licenses.


A man who worked as a youth dance instructor in North County pleaded not guilty yesterday to child molestation charges.

Thirty-nine year-old David Silvas is accused of sexually assaulting at least four underage students between 2005 and 2014.

Detectives believe there are additional victims and possibly witnesses.

Silvas faces a maximum of 15 years in state prison based on the current charges.


COVID-19 cases in San Diego County are holding steady this week.

The county reported more than 9 thousand 7-hundred cases this week, that’s 52 more than last week.

But, that doesn’t account for at-home Covid 19 tests, so the actual number of cases is likely much higher.

San Diego County’s public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten says that because the covid 19 vaccine wanes over time, boosters give people added protection.

Yet more than 42 percent of those eligible for their first booster haven’t gotten one yet.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.
Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

Childcare is hard to find across the country and in the San Diego region.

We’ve previously reported that one in eight child care centers closed here during COVID.

KPBS investigative reporter Claire Trageser tells us some areas were disproportionately hit— creating what are called “childcare deserts.”
Childcare is hard to find across the country and in the San Diego region. We’ve previously reported that one in eight child care centers closed here during COVID. KPBS investigative reporter Claire Trageser tells us some areas were disproportionately hit—creating what are called “childcare deserts.”

14-month-old Kallen Terlecky has a lot to say… normal for a toddler, but not for his mom’s work meetings.

Kimberly Terlecky

Fallbrook Parent

And so it’s kind of like scramble and find backup or taking care of my son while I finish up the workday….if he was in daycare it would be consistent and drop him off and pick him up.

But he’s not in daycare, because all the slots in his rural North County town, Fallbrook, are taken.

“We are on five waitlists. It stretches from here in Fallbrook down to Oceanside. Everybody is booked.”

Terlecky and other Fallbrook parents are living in the biggest childcare desert in the county.

There is just one licensed childcare slot for every four kids under age 5 in their region, according to data from the San Diego YMCA.

“It’s not just in Fallbrook. It’s Bonsall, Oceanside, Vista, Temecula. You might get lucky to get something in Temecula, but that’s a 30 minutes drive from here.”

The need for childcare is dire everywhere. Staffing shortages, rising costs and COVID forced many of these childcare businesses to close. Added challenges make the situation even worse in the Fallbrook region.

Nikki Boles
“A lot of the buildings are older, and so sometimes they don’t meet the regulations for licensing.”

Nikki Boles owns one of the few preschools in the area—at least seven other child care centers closed during COVID, according to state licensing data.

“Their providers were older and didn’t want to risk or had caught COVID and didn’t want to risk exposing other people, but because they were older, they decided to retire.”

The Fallbrook region’s proximity to Camp Pendleton means lots of families with young kids live there—and those kids might not get into military child care.

The population of kids under 5 has grown 16% in the last 10 years—far outpacing overall population growth. And supply hasn’t kept up with demand.

Boles is about to add 24 more slots, specifically for infants.
I haven’t advertised. I haven’t done anything. I’ve had people coming by and stopping and asking about the infant care and when it’s going to open. So I have 20 families on a waiting list.

Dennis Ashworth

Early Learning Home Child Care

“I just kind of became aware of the need from talking to parents of quality childcare in the area.”

Another Fallbrook resident, Dennis Ashworth, recently retired, and during COVID decided to open a home childcare with his wife.

“Right now we have three children under two and three children over two. The phone’s been ringing off the hook about moms with really young children looking for daycare.”

The state currently has funding to help providers like the Ashworths get their childcare license, says Laurie Han with the YMCA’s Childcare Resource and Referral program.

Laurie Han

YMCA Resource and Referral

“Helping them open their license for the first time or expand their license to a large license. Also if they want to expand to nontraditional hours or to change the children they care for to include infants and toddlers.”

Ashworth just expanded his license to take in more kids. He says he’s glad to use his energy and his Fallbrook home to help families in his village.

“If we weren’t doing this, what would I be doing? I was just sitting around getting older. So I think it does keep you young, and it’s kind of exciting every morning when the parents pull up with the kids out with them, and the kids are always excited, so it’s a good thing.”

But he knows adding a few more spaces at his home does little to change Fallbrook’s status as a childcare desert.

Claire Trageser, KPBS News

To see a searchable map of childcare deserts, go to kpbs dot org.


California had a dry winter and a dry spring.

Now, as we move into the hottest and driest months of the year, water resources officials and local leaders are calling for all San Diegans to take action.

KPBS reporter Kitty Alvarado has more.

Mayor Todd Gloria says he’s proud of those who have stepped up to conserve water. But Thursday he urged San Diegans to do more so that the warnings don’t turn into more mandatory water restrictions. today’s message is very clear, thank you for what you’ve done, let’s keep it up, let’s find additional ways to do this, let’s continue to invest in our infrastructure and if we do that I believe we’ll be okay Wade Crowfoot, the Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, says the San Diego region is better off than much of the state because of investments like the Carlsbad desalination plant. San Diego in many ways has led the way but none of us are immune from the unprecedented drought conditions So far the State Water Board has issued two emergency regulations this year. But if conditions don’t improve more could be on the way. Kitty Alvarado, KPBS News.


A safe haven for abuse and human trafficking victims will soon open its doors in San Marcos.

KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne has more.

One Safe Place- A North County Family Justice Center will open in July 5th The San Marcos facility will helpvictims of domestic violence, child or elder abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking. The center will offer forensic medical exams, counseling, therapy, housing resources, clothing, and legal assistance. “The minute they walk in they’ll be greeted by a welcome ambassador who’s going to say we’re here to help. Claudia Grasso is the executive director of the center. She says One Safe Place is for the community, not just for victims of abuse. Itowill also offer educational classes to the public.and anyone who needs resources. TT KPBS News

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephen says North County has long needed a resource like this.

“North County is home to about a third of our population but 42% to 46% DV homicides happen in the No.Co. and 56% of elder abuse. Which means that there’s not enough services to interfere before that violence escalates into a homicide.”

That story was reported by KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne.


Shelters in Tijuana are struggling to meet the basic needs of the migrants in their care, even as the U.S. sends millions of dollars to Mexico to help them.

Inewsource investigative reporter Sofía Mejías Pascoe explains.

“More than one thousand migrants call Templo Embajadores de Jesús home. The church-turned mega shelter opened six years ago to house migrants as they wait for a chance to seek asylum in the US. Some have lived there since 2020, when the U.S. closed its border to asylum seekers under a controversial health policy known as Title 42. That policy has meant a new era for the shelters, according to Enrique Lucero, director of migrant affairs in Tijuana. The shelters weren’t set up to care for migrants long term. Many are struggling to keep going, even as US aid to help migrants in Mexico has skyrocketed in recent years. For KBPS, I’m inewsource reporter Sofía Mejías Pascoe.”

inewsource is an independently funded, nonprofit partner of KPBS.


San Diego parents are now able to seek out COVID vaccinations for their children six months to five years old.

The long-awaited eligibility for younger children comes after the CDC issued approval for the age group over the weekend.

KPBS’s Jade Hindmon spoke with Dr. Eric Topol about vaccines, treatments and reinfection.

Dr. Topol is the director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla.

Here’s that interview.

That was Dr. Eric Topol, speaking with KPBS’s Jade Hindmon.


Coming up…. Summer Camp is in session. We’ll have that story and more, next, just after the break.

Summer is officially here and so are the kids camps that start when school lets out for the season.

KPBS Speak City Heights reporter Jacob Aere tells us about some free music, dance and art camps for students in the San Diego Unified School District.

Perkins K-8 school summer camp is not your average affair. Many of the students at this music, dance and arts camp in Barrio Logan are experiencing homelessness, says City Heights Music School assistant director Mario Eguia. “These kids are going through rough times. And it’s hard when you’re living through that to realize that there’s beauty out there. And we don’t need more cynical people in this world. We need people that are dreamers, people that are hopeful…That’s why it’s important.” A group of nonprofit organizations are providing a dozen similar camps for free to students in the San Diego Unified School District. There’s still time at some of the locations for enrollment, as the camps run through July 15. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.

For those outside of the district, the camps are 150- dollars.


Etheria Film Festival showcases horror, sci-fi, fantasy, action and thriller films directed by women.

For the third year the showcase will stream on Shudder.

KPBS film critic Beth Accomando has this review.

In 2020, COVID-19 forced the Etheria Film Festival to go virtual but it did so in a big way. It partnered with Shudder, the horror streaming channel, and was able to share its showcase of women-made genre films to a much wider audience than it could ever reach in person. This year that partnership continues with seven short films streaming through July 19th. The films explore a diverse range of topics and display wildly differing styles. In the playfully ironic Lucid, a young artist shares her self-portrait in class. I called it Girl with silent eyes and pink hair…The experience challenges the artist to go beyond the superficial to embrace her love of the grotesque through some blood-soaked performance art. In the Spanish thriller Dana, a violent attack……transforms the title character into an avenging vigilante who hunts down serial rapists. The shorts also look to family secrets, a rodent infestation, and our evolving relationship to technology. Kudos to Etheria for highlighting these emerging female artists and encouraging them to dig deeper for their art. Beth Accomando, KPBS News.


Do you remember reading your favorite childhood Dr. Seuss books?

Well the home in La Jolla where the late Theodor Geisel wrote most of those books will be up for sale soon.

The Mount Soledad home is now owned by U-C-S-D.

The proceeds from the sale will create the Geisel Fund in the UCSD Foundation.

That’s it for the podcast today. This podcast is produced by KPBS Senior Radio Producer Brooke Ruth and Producer Emilyn Mohebbi. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend

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