To Connect Families with Head Start Preschools
San Diego, CA – Episcopal Community Services (ECS), a nonprofit social services agency providing early childhood education and other critical services to children and adults across San Diego, has partnered with TOOTRiS, a first-of-its-kind platform that provides on-demand Child Care.The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the struggles of working parents across the nation to find affordable, high-quality care for their children. To help make this difficult time easier on low-income families, ECS and TOOTRiS have come together to connect parents with ECS’s Head Start programs. All ECS’s 17 Head Start sites are now accessible for free on the TOOTRiS platform, which allows parents to look near their home or work, using filters to find Child Care that fits their needs and budgetary requirements – even for temporary slots or drop-ins, and to view photos of the site and arrange a visit. This partnership will provide parents assurance that their children are being engaged, enriched, and supported by a licensed preschool provider, allowing parents to focus on work, and other responsibilities.
“We feel privileged to be instrumental in helping Elizabeth Fitzsimons and her team at ECS achieve their noble vision of providing quality early childhood education to our communities,” said Alessandra Lezama, Founder & CEO of TOOTRiS. “With this partnership, families in our region can now have critical on-demand access to these Head Start programs with an easy click of a button.”
Of the families enrolled in ECS’s Head Start and Early Head Start educational programs, 70% have one or more parent/guardian that is employed, and almost 90% of the families identify as Hispanic. Many families with children under five years of age meet the eligibility criteria for Head Start, including foster youth, special needs, or below the federal poverty level. According to the CDC, essential workers are more likely to belong to these populations and provide critical support to their communities. For an essential worker, a flexible schedule from an employer is rare and may not allow for instances where affordable and quality care can consistently be secured.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with TOOTRiS, who has made it their mission to tackle a huge issue in our region: lack of affordable high-quality care,” said Elizabeth Fitzsimons, Chief Executive Officer at ECS. “Part of our organization’s mission is to empower adults and this partnership will do just that by connecting parents to quality early childhood education. This is a great opportunity to help children learn and grow, and support parents who work hard to provide for their families.”
ECS provides more than $30 million in health and human services in the areas of homelessness, mental health, substance use disorder treatment, and early childhood education to more than 6,000 clients in San Diego. Founded in 2019, TOOTRiS is a start-up company that provides 100% free resources to more than 122,000 childcare providers in 22 states, connects working parents to these programs in real-time, and enables employers to incorporate Child Care as a benefit through its technology platform. The TOOTRiS platform can be accessed online at www.tootris.com.
About Episcopal Community Services: Serving God by serving those in need through programs that foster hope and dignity. ECS inspires children, empowers adults and transforms communities by providing vital, high-quality social services that focus on early childhood education and development, homelessness, mental health, and substance use disorder treatment. Last year ECS served more than 6,000 San Diegans. For more information, please visit www.ecscalifornia.org.
About TOOTRiS: TOOTRiS is reinventing Child Care, making it convenient, affordable and on-demand. As the world shifts to digitalized services, TOOTRiS helps parents and providers connect and transact in real-time, empowering working parents – especially women – to secure quality Child Care, while allowing providers to unlock their potential and fully monetize their program. TOOTRiS is creating a new digital economy that promotes entrepreneurial opportunities for individuals with passion and talent to become Child Care providers, improving their quality of life while increasing the much-needed supply of Child Care across the state. TOOTRiS’ unique technology enables employers to provide fully managed Child Care Benefits, giving their workforce the flexibility and family support paramount to regaining employee productivity and increasing their ROI. Visit tootris.com for more information.