Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new portal to help parents, including essential workers and vulnerable families, find safe, reliable and accessible child care options.
“Our essential workers deserve to go to work knowing their kids are safe and cared for,” said Governor Newsom. “They’re there for our families, keeping hospitals, grocery stores and schools open during this pandemic. We need to be there for them. Our new portal will make accessing child care easier by allowing parents to find options that are convenient and reliable for their families.”
The new portal is available at covid19.ca.gov/childcare and enables parents to enter their location and the type of care they need, instantly receiving a list of local center-based and family child care programs. The list of open licensed child care programs will include health and safety information, age of children accepted, capacity, availability, hours, and contact information for the program and local Child Care Resource and Referral agency. The Child Care Resource and Referral agencies can answer general questions, including those about child care subsidies
The Governor has made child care a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 16, the Department of Social Services (DSS) released guidance allowing for the fast tracked roll out of temporary employer sponsored child care to ensure that child care services are available for working families in need while schools are physically closed. DSS is available to help communities statewide with technical assistance to set up pop-up child care programs. As of today, there are 432 temporary pop-up child care programs throughout California.
On April 10, thanks to swift action from the Legislature to pass SB 89, the Governor allocated $50 million for child care vouchers which prioritize children at risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation, as well as children of essential workers under 85 percent of the State Medium Income. An additional $50 million will go toward child care facility cleaning and provides reimbursements for child care providers to purchase gloves, face coverings, cleaning supplies and labor. Checks are now being processed by the State Controller’s Office and should be received in the next few weeks.
The announcement follows previous announcements by the Governor to support essential workers and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor signed two executive orders in early April creating licensing and contracting flexibility and expanding access to child care subsidies and after-school programs for essential workers.