South San Francisco, CA July 27, 2020 by David Burruto, Chief of Staff, SMC Supervisor Dave Pine
Supervisors Dave Pine and Carole Groom Champion Grant to Support Struggling Child Care Operators and Families
REDWOOD CITY – Today, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved a grant for $2 million of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds, authorized by the federal government, to seed the “Child Care Relief Fund” — a COVID-19 recovery fund to benefit child care programs adversely impacted by COVID-19 in San Mateo County.
A recent survey by the San Mateo County COVID-19 Child Care Response Team indicates that 59% of family child care homes and 30% of centers have one month or less of operating expenses on-hand. In addition, 42% of family child care homes and 71% of centers project a net income loss in the fall. Nationally, fewer than 6% of child care providers received Paycheck Protection Program loans. An estimated pandemic-related loss of 19,764 child care spaces in San Mateo County, combined with a deficit of 23,591 child care spaces prior to the pandemic, means San Mateo County faces a potential shortage of 43,355 child care spaces in the near term.
“Access to quality and reliable child care is critical for parents returning to work during or after the pandemic, and is a lynch pin to our economic recovery,” said Supervisor Dave Pine, sponsor of the measure and co-chair of the San Mateo County Child Care Partnership Council (CCPC) and Build Up for San Mateo County’s SMC Advisory Body. “With child care providers already operating on thin margins and many struggling just to keep their doors open, these funds are urgently needed to support the child care community.”
Of the $2 million, $1.35 million will be available to child care centers, providing a minimum of 25 grants up to $55,000 each, and $650,000 will be available to family child care homes, providing a minimum of 65 grants up to $10,000 each.
“Child care providers face lower enrollment and increased costs due to strict social distancing requirements,” said Supervisor Carole Groom, who also sponsored the measure. “Without additional support, we run the risk of losing child care options for working families already strained by this pandemic.”
Eligibility for the Child Care Relief Fund will be limited to licensed and license-exempt child care centers and family child care homes in San Mateo County.
“The grant program will prioritize funding providers serving the most vulnerable San Mateo County residents, such as those who receive CalWorks subsidies or are located in the highest need zip codes,” said Dayna Chung, Executive Director of the Community Equity Collaborative, which will work with County staff to administer the fund.
“These emergency funds will provide much-needed relief to San Mateo County’s fragile child care infrastructure,” said Christine Padilla, Director of Build-Up for San Mateo County’s Children, who, along with Ms. Chung, organized a coalition of local elected officials and residents to support the child care effort.