Child Development Associations and the YMCA of San Diego County announced Thursday they will begin offering child care services to essential workers and at-risk populations for eligible participants.
The CDA and YMCA Childcare Resource Service are the two largest subsidized child care programs in the region, and said they will start processing vouchers for essential worker families.
On April 10, Gov. Gavin Newsom released $50 million to pay for limited-term additional state subsidized child care vouchers for essential workers and at-risk populations. On April 17, San Diego County’s two Alternative Payment Program agencies, the CDA and YMCA, received contracts from the California Department of Education for $5.1 million in child care vouchers and administrative costs of the program. An estimated 2,664 children will be provided with two months of childcare.
“COVID-19 has highlighted the critical role child care plays in our community,” said YMCA Childcare Resource Service Executive Director Kim McDougal. “These vouchers are a lifesaver for families who need to work and for the child care providers who are open and want to care for families while following public health guidelines.”
Family eligibility and enrollment priorities include:
— At-risk populations including children at risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation; children eligible through Emergency Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children; families experiencing homelessness, or children of domestic violence survivors;
— Essential workers in essential critical infrastructure industries, whose total family income does not exceed the current income eligibility threshold and are not able to work remotely. Both parents must be essential workers to qualify.
— Families with children with disabilities or special health care needs whose education and family service plans include early learning coalition services.
— Essential workers listed in the second bullet above, whose total family income exceeds the current income eligibility threshold and are not able to work remotely;
Families who meet the requirements may begin the enrollment process at Sandiegoforeverychild.org/covid19/.
The emergency child care program has a streamlined enrollment process so families can get quickly connected to the care they need said Child Development Associations President and CEO Rick Richardson.
Emergency child care services under the program will be available through June 30.
“Confronting this crisis has required partnership and quick action across sectors in our community,” Richardson said. “We are proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our state agencies, philanthropy community and other nonprofits to support our essential workers and child care field.”
In the alternative payment program, families receive subsidy vouchers to get care from the child care provider of the parents’ choice. This includes services from licensed child care centers or family child care homes, or license-exempt caregivers such as friends or relatives who provide in-home care. Payments will be made directly to the child care provider.
Families seeking child care can call the YMCA Childcare Resource Service Resource and Referral line, staffed seven days a week to help parents find a child care provider that meets their needs. Call 800-481-2151 to reach an advisor. Learn more at www.ymcasd.org/childcarereferrals.