$2M SMC Child Care Fund Approved
At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, I'm proud to say that our City of San Mateo was the first to invest in child care by allocating $124,000 of CDGB Funds to provide rental assistance to home-based child care providers. We considered the dire consequences of under investment in child care during this pandemic and economic crisis and on the flip side, we saw the multiplier effect an investment in childcare would have at the social, educational, and economic level to protect lives and livelihoods.
Local to a Regional Strategy
It started with five moms: myself, Redwood City Councilwoman Giselle Hale, Heather Hopkins and Dayna Chung from Community Equity Collaborative, and Christine Padilla from Build Up for San Mateo County’s Children. We rang the bell on the looming child care crisis - with 50% of programs at risk of closure.
We presented a letter to the Board of Supervisors outlining the data and recommended actions that was signed by over 35 council colleagues and school board trustees. True to our County’s culture of collaborative leadership, Supervisor Pine and Supervisor Groom convened the best minds in the field including First 5 San Mateo County, San Mateo County Office of Education, Child Care Partnership Council, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, 4Cs of San Mateo County, and Build Up for San Mateo County’s Children to tackle this issue. Together we conceived of the SMC Child Care Fund and mobilized 50 elected officials and 550+ county residents to sign our letter to the Board of Supervisors, on Tuesday it was approved by unanimous vote!
Next Step: Multiply the Fund
We all have an interest in building healthy, and prosperous communities. We all need to own the investment in childcare, because we all pay for it when we don't have it. Our goal is to double the seed investment of $2M by the County by engaging our corporate partners and municipalities and private donors to contribute to the fund. The work continues and this is an all hands on deck situation!