The City Council on Tuesday approved $1.5 million in funding to expand childcare services in Sacramento, which will increase accessibility for families, help local childcare providers and support Sacramento’s workforce.
“We have seen a significant loss in childcare facilities, and many programs were shuttered during the pandemic,” said the City’s Child Care Project Manager Janine Cooper. “These childcare programs will help add slots for families and increase capacity to support Sacramentans getting back to work.”
Since the onset of the pandemic, Sacramento County has seen a permanent closure of 272 childcare provider facilities and a 13% drop in childcare workforce, according to officials.
“COVID-19 has intensified the fragile landscape of childcare in our city and across the nation,” said Mayor Pro Tem Eric Guerra, who also serves as chair of Sacramento Employment and Training Agency. “Now, more than ever, access to childcare is a critical issue for parents, employers and providers as families return to work and school.”
A three-pronged approach was developed by the City’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development, childcare experts and providers and Guerra.
The City will work with Child Action, Inc., a local non-profit family resource and referral agency, Los Rios Community College District and California Capital Women’s Business Center to expand childcare services with:
- Childcare provider stipends for licensed childcare providers in underserved and high-priority areas to help prevent further closures and to help support providers in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Childcare provider startup stipends for childcare providers to help reduce barriers to becoming a licensed Family Childcare Home (or home-based childcare facility) by covering costs such as licensing fees, training, supplies and other safety protocols for new and start-up childcare providers.
- Childcare provider education apprenticeship program to offer job placement in early learning and childcare facilities and subsidize courses and materials for apprentices through Los Rios Community College District to increase the childcare workforce. The program was modeled after SETA’s Head Start Apprenticeship program.
Funding for the services come from the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding for youth and workforce training, which was approved as part of Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s ARP spending framework.
Further details on eligibility and how to access these services will be released as programs are finalized.