How our nation responds to the early care and education sector’s needs during the COVID-19 crisis will directly affect our nation’s economy, working families’ livelihoods and our children’s future wellbeing. Without adequate support, we risk the permanent loss of roughly half of the nation’s child care slots. To this end, the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) is partnering with regional funders and local organizations to get resources into the hands of these small businesses, primarily owned by women and people of color, that provide this critical service and will be hard pressed to survive the closures affecting communities across the nation.
LIIF is immediately deploying $1.4 million in grants through our Child Care Emergency Relief Effort for family child care small businesses in New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C. The relief funding will go directly to family child care business owners to cover staff salaries, rent and other operating expenses. This support builds on the work being done by LIIF through a new partnership with Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) to support child care providers in applying for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Through these efforts, LIIF’s goal is to raise, deploy and facilitate over $5 million in grants and PPP loans over the next six months to serve 400 child care businesses and their 1,000 employees in these targeted geographies. LIIF’s relief efforts are currently funded by The JPB Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the Greater Washington Community Foundation.
Since the onset of COVID-19, child care programs across the country have suffered financial losses that have severely affected their ability to cover fixed operating costs like payroll, rent and mortgages. Regions that have long faced critical shortages of child care are under greater strain now, which hurts working families and the economy. According to a recent survey, nearly two-thirds of parents have had difficulty finding child care during the crisis, and about half are concerned they won’t be able to afford child care when they can return to the workforce.
LIIF’s immediate assistance is targeted to family child care homes, which represent the largest share of child care in the country. “Right now, we are focused on supporting family child care homes that do not have broad access to public subsidy, serve low-income communities and operate on thin margins,” said Angie Garling, LIIF’s National Director of Early Care and Education. “Home-based care is often the best or only option for many of our frontline essential workers including medical professionals, grocery workers and first responders. Yet these businesses – almost 100% of which are led and staffed by women and people of color – face the greatest financial harm and may close.”
Angelica Guerrero, owner of Billygoats/Cabritas, a family child care program in San Francisco, CA and recipient of PPP support from LIIF and CRF, said, “As you know family child care providers’ businesses run in our own homes. The lack of income will make us lose two things at once, our jobs and our homes… With your support, I’m sure the economy will have the vital foundation of child care available when the time to get back to business is right.”
LIIF’s emergency response is informed by more than 20 years of experience supporting early care and education providers with more than $150 million in grants and technical assistance that has supported more than 270,000 child care slots. This Child Care Emergency Relief Effort builds on longstanding partnerships in these three regions.
A strong early care and education system is foundational to supporting working parents, growing the U.S. economy and nurturing children’s development. We must act quickly to respond to the needs of these critical community resources.
Learn more about our ECE emergency relief efforts, becoming a funder or getting ECE provider support here.