Orange County’s COVID-19 Child Care Relief Program has begun accepting applications.
The $5 million grant program, approved by the Board of Supervisors last week, is intended to assist child care businesses and nonprofits that have been affected by COVID-19.
“We at the County want to help Orange County families get back to work,” said Supervisor Doug Chaffee, Fourth District. “An important part of that is supporting families by providing access to child care that has been adapted to meet the health and safety requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Child care providers in Orange County, who meet the qualifications and can provide the requested documentation within the open enrollment period, will be considered to receive a grant.
“Child care providers have struggled to balance the cost of providing safe and quality care with very limited revenues,” said Vice Chairman Andrew Do, First District Supervisor. “This new Child Care Relief Grant program will help maintain safe and reliable spaces for children, as we continue to rebuild our economy.”
According to a report by First 5 Orange County Commission, there are only enough licensed slots to care for 5 percent of the County’s children between the ages of 0 and 2. While subsidized programs that are based on income eligibility provide an opportunity for working families who would not otherwise afford it, the reimbursement rates do not cover costs and are a disincentive for providers, even if they want to serve young children, according to the report.
“This program is the work of everyone putting their minds together and finding ways to help the community through these difficult times,” said Supervisor Do.
Orange County is home to 1,242 licensed child care facilities, 944 of which are still open for business, and 298 of which have closed due to the pandemic. And while child care providers continue to be open for business, they too have struggled to meet the safety guidelines to continue to operate in a safe manner.
“Our workforce depends on quality child care and I’m pleased to have Charitable Ventures administer the program to ensure providers get the funds they need to stay open,” said Supervisor Chaffee.
For more information on the eligibility requirements and approved use of funding, please visit the County of Orange COVID-19 Child Care Relief Program.
And for questions related to the application, please email the Child Care Relief Program Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view the application, click here.