S. E. Williams | Contributor
On Monday, April 13, 2020, California Governor Newsom announced the release of funding to pay for up to 20,000 limited-term additional childcare slots for the state’s essential workers and members of the state’s vulnerable populations.
The initiative is being funded through SB 89—the state’s one-billion-dollar emergency funding legislation signed by the governor last month—to help California fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many of California’s workers on the front lines of this pandemic are parents, and as a father, I know the importance of making sure our children are kept healthy and safe. This funding is very important to make sure that working parents that are part of the essential workforce in our state, as well as those that are part of vulnerable populations, have the childcare resources they need,” said Governor Newsom.
Of the $100 million in additional funding for childcare services, $50 million will go to the California Department of Education and be used to pay for up to 20,000 limited-term, additional state-subsidized slots for childcare.
The other $50 million, according to the governor, “[Will also] go to the Department [of Education].” Set funds will be used to ensure child care centers, facilities and family provider homes are safe and clean for the children and families they are serving by reimbursing them for the purchase of gloves, face coverings, cleaning supplies, and other labor related to cleaning in accordance with federal and state public health and safety guidelines.”
The governor previously signed executive orders to ensure prioritization of children of essential infrastructure workers, as well as those in vulnerable populations—including children at risk of violence or neglect, and those with disabilities—in accessing child care services during the state’s COVID-19 response.
Under these orders, the Department of Education and the Department of Social Services developed and have issued guidance on the prioritization for access to childcare services. Essential infrastructure workers include health care workers, emergency response personnel, law enforcement, and grocery workers.