San Francisco, CA – Board President Yee is introducing legislation to establish an emergency economic recovery program to support early care and education providers who are at the brink of collapse due to the COVID-19 health emergency. The Early Care & Education Economic Recovery program will offer one-time grants and zero-interest loans for child care providers serving children ages 0-6 to cover increased operating costs associated with the pandemic, including cleaning and sanitation; the need to expand facility sizes to accommodate physical spacing requirements; financial assistance to employees to assist with childcare for their dependents during working hours; and covering costs associated with providing free or reduced care for essential health care workers and activated Disaster Service Workers during the health emergency.
During the COVID-19 emergency, early care and education providers were severely impacted by the initial shutdown and the re-opening requirements that reduced the number of children allowable in cohorts and the need to increase staffing to support smaller group sizes. Programs were also impacted by lower enrollment and the inability to sustain employees who were often without child care themselves. During the past several months, many licensed family child care programs closed and many others are near closure. The estimated loss of revenue for City-funded early care and education centers and family child care programs in San Francisco between mid-march and June 30, 2020 due to COVID-19 was approximately $21.8M.
The legislation tasks the Office of Early Care and Education to administer the grant and loan program. The Department will also develop the application and selection process in the coming months. The grants and loans would be offered between $5,000 to $25,000. The amount of each grant and loan will be determined by the Office of Early Care and Education.
“San Francisco’s economic recovery depends on the health of our child care system. We have a one-time opportunity to provide a lifeline to early care and education providers who are at the brink of closure. If we keep losing providers, San Francisco’s existing child care shortage crisis will be exacerbated leaving more families without care triggering a disastrous domino effect on the local economy, which is already bleeding out. We need to stabilize this entire industry and invest systemically so that we can save existing child care slots and eventually build up the universal child care system that we envisioned would be the first of its kind around the nation,” stated Supervisor Norman Yee, President of the Board of Supervisors.
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