South San Francisco, CA November 10, 2020 Submitted by David Burruto, Chief of Staff, Supervisor Pine’s Office
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 an additional $2 million of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds, authorized by the federal government, to augment the “Child Care Relief Fund” — a COVID-19 recovery fund to benefit child care providers adversely impacted by COVID-19 in San Mateo County.
These funds are in addition to the $2 million of CARES Act funds previously allocated to support providers last July. On September 24, the San Mateo Credit Union, which has managed these funds, mailed the last grant of 102 grants to 73 family child care homes and 29 child care centers serving 3,345 of the most at-risk children ages 0-13 in San Mateo County. This additional grant will be distributed to an estimated 200 additional applicants.
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. Without County funding, 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 would face 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 lynchpin to our economic recovery,” said Supervisor Dave Pine, co-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, these funds are urgently needed to support the child care community and keep our childcare centers and family child care homes open.”
“In the first round of funding, we received nearly $7 million in funding requests from eligible childcare providers in San Mateo County,” said Supervisor Carole Groom, who also sponsored the measure. “Without additional support, we run the risk of losing child care options in the long-term for working families already strained by this pandemic.”
Eligibility for the Child Care Relief Fund will be limited to licensed child care centers, license-exempt public recreation or school district-operated programs, and family child care homes in San Mateo County.
“The grant program prioritized the most vulnerable during the first round of funding and succeeded in reaching programs serving 3,345 of the most at-risk children in San Mateo County. I am happy we can expand our investment in child care businesses that empower working families across our county, said Dayna Chung, Executive Director of the Community Equity Collaborative.
“We’re grateful to the Board of Supervisors for recognizing the success and impact of the fund and coming back with an additional $2 million to help fill the unmet need. These grants provide much-needed relief to San Mateo County’s fragile child care infrastructure that’s supported in large part by women and immigrant operators and educators,” 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.