SAN FRANCISCO—On Friday, June 5, San Francisco officials unveiled a new program that will use $1 million from the Give2SF fund in order to support child care providers and educators.
The program, developed by Mayor London Breed, Board of Supervisor President Norman Yee, and Board of Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, is called the Family Child Care Emergency Operating Grant. It will be jointly managed by Low Income Investment Fund’s Child Care Facilities Program and the Office of Early Care and Education (OECE).
The $1 million sum will be distributed among up to 150 Family Child Care (FCC) educators in order to cover operating costs like paying staff, taxes, insurance, and more.
As defined in a press release from the Mayor’s Office, an FCC educator is someone who offers child care for children ages 0 to 12. Some FCC educators operate in communities where demand for child care is high, but resources are limited.
According to the press release, the $1 million was secured from the Give2SF fund due to the economic struggle that many of these child care providers have faced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Give2SF was launched by the City and County of San Francisco in response to the economic obstacles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund accepts tax-deductible donations that contribute to the needs brought on by the pandemic—things like medical facilities and supplies, support for medically and economically vulnerable San Franciscans, and boosting local businesses.
The Children’s Council of San Francisco, an organization that connects families to child care providers, has seen only 150 of the 1,000 child care sites that it advises remain open throughout the pandemic, according to CEO Gina Fromer.
As child care services try to navigate pandemic difficulties, Fromer told the San Francisco News that children have lost “critical social-emotional bonding time with their friends and teachers.”
Fromer also noted, “Low-income children of color are particularly vulnerable during these times. COVID has impacted neighborhoods like Bayview-Hunters Point, Tenderloin and the Mission more deeply.”
The Family Child Care Emergency Operating Grant will be targeted to help mostly those who are not able to get financial support from other resource avenues. The Mayor’s Office noted that it will specifically prioritize “high-need neighborhoods, including the Tenderloin, SoMa, Mission, Excelsior, OMI, Bayview, Ingleside, Merced, and Visitacion Valley.”
As pandemic restrictions loosen and businesses begin to gradually reopen, child care programs still face “strict guidelines around reduced capacity, social distancing and cleaning protocols,” which adds more expenses for care providers to manage, according to Fromer.
Gina expressed gratitude for the development of the program, but also noted the obstacles posed by the Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent budget revision, which includes a 10 percent decrease in monthly child care funding from the state.
“We need every citizen to understand that without a solid child care ecosystem in place, our city and our state will simply not be able to recover,” said Fromer.