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  • Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Patricia ``Patty’’ Siegel

    by Senator Nancy Pelosi

    Posted on 2016-01-08

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    PELOSI of california in the house of representatives Friday, January 8, 2016 Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, on December 25th, a beautiful Christmas day in San Francisco, a beloved community leader and esteemed childcare advocate passed away. Patricia `Patty' Siegel was a courageous, passionate and relentless champion for children, who dedicated her life and career to making childcare accessible and affordable for all families. Patty helped lay the groundwork for America's contemporary childcare network.

    In 1972, drawing on her experience as a mother, teacher and parent- organizer, Patty founded one of the nation's first childcare resource and referral agencies, the Childcare Switchboard, now known as the Children's Council of San Francisco. For 30 years, Patty served as Executive Director of the California Child Care Resource & Referral Network, the first such network in the nation, which empowered her to play an influential role in shaping state and federal childcare policy. Among her biggest achievements was the passage of federal legislation in 1990 creating the Child Care and Development Block Grant, which provides subsidies to low-income families seeking childcare.

    Patty served on the Governor's Advisory Committee on Child Care Development and was one of the original state commissioners for the First 5 California Commission that oversees and supports the funding of education, health, and childcare programs for California children under age 5 and their families. With her customary energy and vision, Patty also inspired and guided the development of Parent Voices, a grassroots parent-led effort to engage and empower parents to participate in the policy process.

    An early champion of the idea that early education creates long-term cognitive and emotional benefits, Patty Siegel's name is synonymous with the best initiatives giving all children the opportunity to succeed. As we mourn Patty's passing, we know she lives on--in the [[Page E23]] children she helped, in the working families she empowered, and in the activists she inspired.

    Sadly, in 2014, Patty lost her beloved husband, Sandy, who proudly supported her efforts over the years. I hope it is a comfort to their children Toby, Tara and Kelsey, and their four grandchildren, that so many are thinking of them during this difficult time. We are grateful to them for sharing such a magnificent and dearly beloved woman with us. Her beautiful spirit lives on in the battles she won, the policies she changed, and the countless lives she continues to impact.


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