Children’s Council staff member brings life experience to her work with SF Black educators

By Margarita Spataro
Child Care Business Coach, Children’s Council

My name is Margarita and I am a Child Care Business Coach at Children’s Council. Every day I work with with women who want to launch home-based family child care businesses in San Francisco. For the past six months my focus has been a special project under the Mayor’s Dream Keeper Initiative to develop intentional services for Black and African American early childhood educators in San Francisco.

Our mission is to support new Black early care educators and to help sustain and grow established Black child care providers in our community. I am extremely proud to be a part of this endeavor. Black families in San Francisco critically need more quality child care programs that are owned and operated by Black and African-American educators. Representation is important.

I am the mother of two children who are bi-racial. When I was looking for child care for my son, I received a child care subsidy voucher and my only option at the time was at a Chinese bilingual child care site. It was a wonderful program, but I was concerned if my son would be accepted by the other children. I worried that he would feel out of place. It took him a while to adjust to the program.

In his child care program, he learned to speak and sing in Cantonese. I appreciated what he learned and the exposure to another culture, but I still asked myself, “What if I had more choices? What would his experience have been like with children who looked more like him, and an educator who resembled his grandmother?” When it was time for him to begin kindergarten he was ready, but I did my best to find a school with more diversity.

At Children’s Council, we launched our program under the Dream Keeper Initiative in July 2021 with a mission to support families just like mine. We conducted focus groups and a needs survey of Black child care educators in San Francisco, to help us align our work with the needs of the community. We are continuing to develop our program and expand our services to reach more individuals.

If you’re an early educator or thinking about opening a child care business, check out our Family Child Care Fundamentals series launching February 17. These workshops, brought to you by BizNest at Children’s Council, are designed to help new Family Child Care (FCC) owners launch businesses and to support existing FCC owners in strengthening their businesses.

Our grant under the Mayor’s Dream Keeper Initiative allows us to provide even more comprehensive support and services to Black educators in San Francisco. If you are interested in learning more about our program, attending our workshops or receiving a 1-on-1 consultation about your FCC, please visit our website or email Damina Bellot or Margarita Spataro.

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