Mayor London Breed, Board President Norman Yee, and Supervisor Ahsha Safaí Announce $1 Million Program to Support Family Child Care Educators
With funding from Give2SF, the new grant program will provide economic relief to Family Child Care educators in high-need neighborhoods who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed, Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee, and Supervisor Ahsha Safaí today announced the creation of a new program to support Family Child Care (FCC) educators. FCCs provide child care for children ages 0 to 12 and are a vital resource for families, particularly in communities with a high need for early care and education but with limited child care resources. Like most small businesses in San Francisco, many child care providers are struggling financially due to COVID-19.
The Office of Early Care and Education (OECE) will use $1 million in funding from the Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to create a Family Child Care Emergency Operating Grant program. The program will provide up to 150 FCCs with funding they can use to cover operating expenses such as staff retention, rent or mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities, and any other expenses related to typical program operations. The grant program will focus on supporting child care operators who are not eligible or do not have access to many of the funding resources available to other business sectors.
“As we move forward on our gradual reopening of the economy, we know that we need affordable, high-quality childcare options so people can get back to work and know that their kids are safe,” said Mayor Breed. “Unfortunately, many child care operators are struggling right now and are at a risk of closing. This grant program will help these small businesses remain open and provide much-needed early care and education for our city’s families, especially families who live in parts of the City where there aren’t as many child care options.”
“Family Child Care is the backbone support system for our city’s youngest learners. San Francisco and our families cannot afford to have Family Child Care programs close,” said Supervisor Norman Yee. “These providers are predominantly women and women of color and COVID has devastated this industry. Give2SF funding is critical to help support these small businesses and the families and children they serve.”
“Child care centers are the lifeblood of our economy,” said Supervisor Ahsha Safaí. “We cannot talk about reopening our City without making sure our child care providers have support to pay rent, cover their mortgage and pay employees during this time. I have talked to many family providers who are on the brink of closure. These funds will be a lifeline to make sure this important workforce survives and that San Francisco families have access to quality care.”
Since child care programs will be facing reduced enrollment restrictions due to COVID-19, it is imperative that existing child care providers remain open so that there is sufficient capacity for San Francisco families. This funding will help child care operators survive until group size restrictions are relaxed through the Public Health Order. The grant program will prioritize FCCs in high-need neighborhoods, including the Tenderloin, SoMa, Mission, Excelsior, OMI, Bayview, Ingleside, Merced, and Visitacion Valley.
“We must commit to strengthening our fragile child care system for the essential-worker families who need child care now during this public health emergency, and for every parent needing to return safely to work,” said Ingrid Mezquita, Director of the Office of Early Care and Education. “Providing these operating grants to Family Childcare helps maintain and sustain our ECE system whole.”
Child care providers that are part of OECE’s Early Learning Scholarship and Preschool For All programs were limited as to who they could serve during the recent public health crisis and have lost funding from non-City sources, such as fees from families and state subsidy reimbursements. As the City plans for next school year’s programming for preschool-aged children, OECE is in need of licensed spaces in high-need communities. To prepare for the school year with classroom sizes maxing at 10 students, OECE needs every available licensed space to accommodate the children who will not have access to district, Head Start, or state-funded spaces that are normally available for three- and four-year-old children.
In March, Mayor Breed announced three priority areas for the Give2SF Fund: food security, access to housing, and support for workers and small businesses, with a focus on assisting undocumented people who otherwise may not have access to social safety net programs; seniors and people with disabilities; and small businesses. The $1 million in funding from Give2SF is part of the small business category, since FCC educators are small businesses that often have limited financial means.
The grant funding will be managed through the Low Income Investment Fund’s Child Care Facilities Program, in partnership with OECE. OECE will assist FCC educators through the application process. Additional program details and application information will be available on OECE’s webpage: https://sfoece.org/
“As a small business owner, COVID-19 has been devastating! Many of us applied for grants and loans but only a few received help,” said Esperanza Estrada, FCC Educator, Excelsior Neighborhood. “Family Childcare Educators live paycheck to paycheck – this public health emergency has made it impossible to survive. Family Childcare Educators are a valuable community member and the backbone for our economic recovery. We need all the support and help to survive this emergency.”
Contribute to Give2SF
Anyone interested in making a monetary contribution to the City and County of San Francisco’s Give2SF Fund can do so at www.Give2SF.org. Money can be donated via check or wire to the Office of the Controller or through the Give2SF website via credit card. It is preferable that large donations be made by check or wire so no credit card merchant fees are incurred.