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Supervisor Fletcher Secures Support to Direct CARES Act Money for Childcare and Schools


Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, in a move to support the struggling child care industry and provide surveillance and testing to keep school children safe during COVID-19, successfully passed an effort during today’s Board of Supervisors’ Meeting to set-aside $30 million of the $48.8 million in Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act recently allocated to us by the State. 

At the direction of Supervisor Jacob, the remaining $18.8 million will be used for senior food programs that include helping restaurants and studying the feasibility of doing more testing at the border.  

The County staff during today’s COVID-19 update informed the Board of the available funds and Supervisor Fletcher quickly made the motion that was seconded by Supervisor Dianne Jacob and supported by a vote of 3-2. 

Supervisor Fletcher’s approved motion directs the CAO to return with a recommended strategy to spend: 

  • $25 million of CARES Act funding for childcare provider struggling to remain open or reopen due to COVID-19 pandemic to cover costs; and 
  • $5 million CARES Act funding to support the County Department of Public Health’s Testing, Tracing, and Treatment (T3) strategy specifically dedicated for San Diego County K-12 schools.  
  • $18.8 million CARES Act funding for senior food programs that include helping restaurants and studying the feasibility of doing more testing at the border. 

“For our economy to fully recover we need to support workers,” said Supervisor Fletcher, Co-Chair, the County’s COVID-19 Subcommittee. “Getting kids back into daycares and schools is critical to getting the economy back to normal. Funding child care and testing at schools are important ways to use these new funds.” 

Recent national childcare stats show:  

  • Currently, 17.5 million workers --11% of the US workforce --are taking care of young kids on their own and will be unlikely to return to work full-time until schools and daycares are fully reopened, according to an analysis by University of Chicago Becker Friedman Institute.
  • Thirteen percent of US parents had to quit their job or reduce their working hours due to lack of child care, according to a survey of 2557 working parents sponsored by Northeastern University from May 10 -June 22, 2020.
  • Since March 14,2020, six hundred and two childcare providers have closed their businesses.  This includes roughly 51% of larger childcare centers countywide. 

Using CARES Act funding to support childcare is not new for Supervisor Fletcher. Earlier this year he secured $10 million for Frontline Worker Childcare Vouchers during the pandemic. The County gave $5 million of its CARES Acts funding and the City of San Diego agreed to match with another $5 million. He also secured $1 million from The San Diego Foundation to support YMCA Summer Camp operations and scholarships so children from low-income homes can have a place to go as parents get back to work.