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LIIF & Partners Support 100+ San Francisco Child Care Businesses with Loans During COVID-19

More than 100 home and center-based child care providers received a five-year, zero-interest loan to sustain their businesses during the pandemic, thanks to the San Francisco Economic Recovery Loan Program. The program was launched by San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s office through the Office of Early Care and Education in July 2021. LIIF served as the fund administrator for a portion of the funds, providing $3.3 million in loans to 101 small businesses as of the end of October.

In the first year of the pandemic, 8,500 licensed child care sites shut down across California, taking with them tens of thousands of child care slots for kids who needed care and education while parents worked or attended school. The cost of running an early care and education (ECE) businesses in the state rose nearly 75% in the first six months of the pandemic for 3-4-year-olds and home-based care. In San Francisco, where the cost of living is high, child care businesses were threatened by health concerns, mounting expenses and lack of consistent enrollment income.

“This loan was a great help to me. Since I’m a single parent and an entrepreneur, I don’t know what I would’ve done without it,” said Mercedes Amalia Cordero, owner of Dimer Family Day Care. “I used the funds to cover my rent…and to purchase new furniture and other items that I needed to continue to provide quality care. I was awarded the loan while I was moving into a below market rate apartment made specifically for family child care, and with this loan I was able to take care of the many expenses that presented themselves during this transition.”

The Economic Recovery Loan Program has helped to stabilize the city’s supply of safe, accessible care operations and to support families in returning to the workforce. Through LIIF, it has provided much-needed financial relief to 90 family child care providers and 11 centers to help cover basic operating expenses like salaries, rent and mortgages, cleaning supplies and educational materials. By providing targeted support for a sector that primarily employs women and women of color and has been proven to improve educational outcomes for students of color, this program advances a more equitable San Francisco.

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Grant Recipient Testimonials:

“I am very grateful to have received this loan. It has been of great help to me. I’ve used the funds to cover my salary, which I’ve been worried about because my enrollment has been low. I also purchased a new computer and printer, and I’ve been using what I have left to buy paper for the printer and cleaning supplies.”

– Maria Del Carmen Gutierrez, owner of Angeles Maria Day Care

“I was able to use the loan to take care of necessary changes to my child care business like replacing the carpet since the old carpet wasn’t in great condition. And I’ve decided to save the rest of the money to put towards a down payment on a home. I’d like to expand my business, but I cannot do so as a tenant.”

– Hassel Gonzalez, owner of Kelly’s Day Care

Early Care and Education