As a part of our mission, First 5 Santa Cruz County values early care and education, and works to support family child care and child care centers. "First 5 Santa Cruz County is proud and honored to have been able to braid public and private funding to provide emergency cash awards to members of our local child care community who remained open during the COVID-19 crisis. In particular we want to recognize our family child care community, who largely remained open to serve the children and families of essential workers and at-risk populations throughout the crisis. We hope that the emergency funds provided by First 5 and our partners played some part in helping our child care community meet the extraordinary costs and challenges associated with providing safe care for children during the crisis," says David Brody, First 5 Santa Cruz County's Executive Director.
As part of our First 5’s COVID‐19 on-going response, First 5 Santa Cruz County distributed $338,574 from multiple sources to 188 family child care homes and 24 centers that continued to provide child care to the children of essential workers and at-risk populations in the first four months of the pandemic crisis. These funds help providers deal with the extraordinary costs associated with providing child care in as safe a manner as possible and consistent with state and local guidelines. An additional round of funding of $100,000 will be distributed this March to an estimated 200 family child care homes and centers that are open and serving children.