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Plan to open childcare center for San Diego Police officers

San Diego would become the first city in the nation with a childcare center for police personnel.

SAN DIEGO — Many parents know the struggle of finding and paying the high cost of daycare. Soon, some of this burden could be lifted off the shoulders of San Diego Police officers.

A plan is in the works that would make San Diego the first city in the nation with a childcare center for police officers.

"We've heard that a number of officers did leave the police department in the past month or two specifically because of childcare issues," said District 1 Councilmember, Joe La Cava.

He said the new childcare center hopes to alleviate some of the stress.

"This should be a great tool to both retain, recruitment efforts and we're hoping for lateral transfers that are attracted," said La Cava. 

Childcare would be available from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. A child care worker could be assigned to a police officer’s home, if the officer is called in during the overnight hours.

"If an officer hadn't planned on arranging for childcare, they're going to make it available," said La Cava.

According to a University of San Diego study, the striking cost of childcare is often enough to cause a parent to quit their job.

"For two kids, you're talking about almost $34,000 a year for an infant and a toddler," said Emily Young, the executive director of the Nonprofit Institute at the University of San Diego.

The new center would charge half the going rate and pay childcare workers 20 percent more than the average.

The San Diego City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee unanimously recommended the childcare plan Thursday. 

It will still need approval from the full city council. If approved, the childcare facility would operate at Police Plaza on Murphy Canyon Road.

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