year after celebrating its 40th anniversary, Go Kids
Inc., has realized a long-time dream of opening a
much-needed infant care facility in Morgan Hill.
The center, which is equipped to care for twelve infants,
is another step in providing crucial services for families with
small children, according to Go Kids, Inc. Executive Director,
Larry Drury. After serving in this role for 20 years, he has
decided to step down next year.
The nonprofit group serves about 2,000 children daily in
four counties through childcare centers and private licensed
family childcare homes that are subsidized by the State of
Go Kids operates eight childcare centers in Santa Clara,
San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. In South
County, locations include preschool
and after-school care programs at San
Martin/Gwinn Elementary School, the
Ochoa Migrant Camp in Gilroy, and its
Los Arroyos Center in Gilroy, which is
preparing to open a second infant care
center in 2020.
In 1975, Go Kids got its start with
a grant from the city of Morgan Hill
to provide early childhood education
training services to women from low-
income backgrounds. The agency received
its nonprofit status in 1978. Its funding base has expanded
to include grants from the cities and counties it serves and
private non-profit groups. Among them are First 5 California,
which distributes money from the 1998 voter-passed tobacco
tax to the states 58 counties.
Go Kids employs 130 staff members, who are a mix of full-
time providers, teachers, office and enrollment staff.
Drury said Go Kids constantly seeks out grants to cover
costs and expand services. A one-time funding grant from
Santa Clara County made it possible for Go Kids to open the
infant care center in Morgan Hill. The $20,000 grant paid for
the repurposing of a portable building that Go Kids already
owned at the Galvan Park location.
“Getting that grant from the county was a godsend,” Drury
said. The infant care center opened in late October and is
“It’s such a need. It’s unbelievable. There are no centers for
infants at all,” Drury said.
Paying for childcare continues to be a challenge for most
families living in the Bay Area.
“The cost can be as much as you would pay for your child
to go to college,” Drury said.
Last year, infant care cost about $19,000 a year in Santa
Clara County, compared to a national average of about
$9,000 to $9,600 a year, according to Child Care Aware
of America. In Gilroy and Morgan Hill, childcare costs an
average of $1,200 to $1,400 per month per child as of
January 2018, according to the Community Child Care
Council of Santa Clara County, Inc.
At the same time, costs for licensed day care providers
are rising, which has caused a 14 percent
decline in the number of home care pro-
viders in the Bay Area in the last decade,
according to the California Child Care
Resource and Referral Network.
Drury said the State of California
recently increased the rate it will pay for
subsidized childcare to bring the amount
more in line with the actual cost. In
addition, the California state Legislature
is considering boosting its budget for
early childhood programs, adding funds
for renovating and building new childcare centers. Bay Area
counties also are considering a host of initiatives for the 2020
ballot to help offset the cost of childcare for providers and
Go Kids childcare programs are typically at capacity.
Most have wait lists.
“Our goal is to make sure that we’re full,” Drury said.
Slots are available for low-income families as well as for
families paying the entire fee.
“It’s really what the market will bear,” he said.
Currently, most slots are being subsidized. The fee charged
is on a sliding scale based on a family’s size and income.
A household of four living in Santa Clara County
bringing in an annual income of $94,500 is considered
low income under the guidelines of the U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development.
It’s such a need. It’s
are no centers for
GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN