Published: December 27, 2019
The Pacific Oaks early childhood journalism fellow, Deepa Fernandes, focuses on a wide range of issues and implications for policy and practices related to children from prenatal to age five, their families, and communities. Fernandes has access to experts in the field of early childhood education through the community at Pacific Oaks College and The Children’s School. The Pacific Oaks early childhood reporting fellow is funded in part by First 5 LA.
Deepa Fernandes is an award-winning journalist who has reported in a dozen countries—from Peru to Cuba to East Timor. Fernandes has reported from inside rebel-controlled prisons during a Haitian coup, slum villages in Mumbai, and immigration jails across the U.S. In 2001, Fernandes founded People’s Production House, aimed at diversifying the press corps and the range of voices heard in the media. She authored a book on immigration in 2007, Targeted, published by Seven Stories Press.
Fernandes has won numerous awards for her reporting on children from prenatal to age five, including the L.A. Press Club’s Radio Journalist of the Year for 2017, 2018, and 2019. Most recently, Fernandes was the early childhood correspondent at Southern California Public Radio, KPCC. Fernandes is a correspondent at KCET’s SoCal Connected, and files global stories for PRI’s The World. Her work can also be heard on NPR, Marketplace, the BBC, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Fernandes became the Pacific Oaks early childhood reporting fellow in 2019.
Ms. Fernandes’ stories during her fellowship have aired on a variety of public radio stations across California and around the country. The links below include print editions of the stories as well as links to the audio versions.
Extremely Separate and Widely Unequal
65 years after the Supreme Court desegregated public education, California’s public preschools are almost entirely nonwhite. This 3-part radio series aired as part of the “Take Two” program. (Airdate: December 2019, KPPC).
Child Care Providers Celebrate New Law Allowing Them to Unionize
A story on the victory by home-based child care providers to unionize. PO Fellow was one of the first reporters to break the story moments after Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill (Airdate: 9/13/19, KCRW)
Mothers and Babies Lack Basic Needs in Greek Refugee Camps
Part II on the refugee crisis in Greece. This is a look at the growing rate of children under five who are asylum seekers and what lessons might we learn from the age population of migrants arriving in the U.S. (Airdate: 7/22/19, PRI The World)
These Asylum-Seekers Won Their Refugee Cases in Greece. Some Wish They Hadn’t.
This global report is part 1 on Greece’s refugee crisis, a story on evicting families who have won their asylum cases. (Airdate: 6/27/19, PRI The World)
When Parents Work the Night Shift, Babies Need a Safe Place to Sleep
Los Angeles County has many shift workers. This story focuses on 24-hour childcare, and how small children are cared for when there is no one to leave them with at home. (Airdate: 5/21/19, KCRW)
A Bold New Early Childhood Plan for California Aims for ‘Equity’
A story on California’s Blue Ribbon Commission’s final report, which calls for paid family leave, more home-visiting nurses, better training for the early care workforce and developmental screenings for every child. The report emphasizes that the crisis in the state’s early care system disproportionately affects children of color. (Airdate: 4/30/19), KQED)
SERIES: 4-Part Series on High Levels of Impoverished Babies in California
The month of April included coverage on the little-reported area of early childhood poverty and aired statewide. While California has the highest child poverty levels in the country, it barely rates a mention. The four-part series aired on every major public radio station in California.
Day Care Workers Explore Options to Unionize
This story explores the poor working conditions of Family Child Care Providers outside Sacramento and their strategy of unionizing to win better conditions. (Airdate: 2/25/19, KCRW)
How Many Babies Are Homeless? No One Knows
This piece highlights the plight of homeless babies and toddlers and why they are not specifically counted/documented in LA’s annual homeless count. (Airdate: 2/1/19, KCRW)