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 (spotlight.ucla.edu) UCLA Child care Services
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June Solnit Sale, UCLA Child Care Services Director, 1978-1991

  • Published Apr 1, 2004 8:00 AM

June Solnit Sale took over as director of UCLA Child Care Services at a turbulent time. It was 1978, and apparently intractable financial problems threatened the program’s existence. Teachers had been given their pink slips. Militant parents were resisting the closure.

Sale, who had graduated from UCLA with a Master's degree in Social Work, was recruited as a troubleshooter. She brought to the job her experience on the faculties of UCLA and Pacific Oaks College, and work as the educational coordinator for the first Los Angeles County Head Start Program. Her vision, administrative expertise and wide experience in working with children and families pulled the program back from the brink. Under her leadership in the following 13 years, UCLA Child Care Services became an exemplary program for young children and a model for the community.

With imagination, energy, and a strength of purpose exceeding mere determination, Sale constructed a strong fiscal foundation for the program. Because outside funding was a key component, she established a "Friends" board to raise additional funding. The resulting “Endowed Child Chair and Stepping Stones to the Future" account now provides child care scholarship funds for about a dozen low-income student families each year. In 1998, the High Scope Education Research Foundation and the National Association for the Education of Young Children recognized UCLA Child Care Services as one of 10 exemplary programs nation-wide, in part because of this innovative endowment funding.

In writing about the award in UCLA Today, Cynthia Lee observed that the fund, although small by some standards, was huge in the world of child care. “But measured another way, sticky quarters and rumpled, hard-earned dollars that have accumulated over years of chocolate-bar and rummage sales, the funds amassed by parents, community supporters and administrators of UCLA Child Care Services far outweigh others in the community caring that nurtured it.”

For 10 years Sale co-authored and edited UCLA's Working Parents Newsletter, continuing even after retiring from the director's position. The newsletter provided campus families with reliable information on child development and parenting. Free of charge to the campus, the newsletter brought in much-needed funds from a McDonnell-Douglas Corporation grant and sale of the newsletter to other employers such as the J. Paul Getty Trust and the City of Santa Monica.

The Working Parents Handbook, which she co-authored, was published by Simon and Schuster in 1996 and continues to bring practical help to families struggling to balance the demands of work and family.

With characteristic succinctness, Sale writes a one-paragraph description of herself for her resume. “MSW, mother of three, grandmother of two and an active child care advocate, author and consultant, with a special interest in public policy issues concerning children and their families.”

Her legacy has had a broad and long-lasting positive effect on the lives of children and families, not only at UCLA, but also influencing programs at the state and national level. She chaired the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Child Care and collaborated with friends to establish Connections for Children, now the resource and referral agency that serves the entire western segment of Los Angeles County. "Ready or Not, Here They Come" was her report to the State of California on Kindergarten readiness.

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Copyright © UCLA Child Care Services