The San Diego City Council Tuesday unanimously approved matching $5 million in federal stimulus funding that will provide childcare for essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the city’s match of the $5 million CARES Act funding already approved by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors directs a combined total of $10 million to the cause.

“We’re relying on essential workers every day to help us get through to the other side of his pandemic,” Faulconer said. “While they take care of us, we need to take care of them. By helping with childcare, we’re providing peace of mind to the frontline heroes who are juggling job and family responsibilities during these trying times.”

Health care workers, first responders, emergency medical services personnel, grocery store staff and child care providers are among those eligible to receive assistance. Eligibility will be prioritized for at-risk individuals and families with disabilities and special health care needs, Faulconer said.

According to the city, the funds will cover costs for more than 5,000 children with daycare needs over the next couple months.

“Child care and the economy are fundamentally linked. If parents can access child care, they’re more likely to enter the workforce and of course, to stay employed,” Faulconer said. “School and child care closures really put an incredible burden on working parents throughout San Diego County.”

Funding will be distributed through vouchers, which will remain available until the funds are fully exhausted.

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