SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Parts of Sacramento that are in high need of child care services could soon be getting some help through stipends for centers and homes. 

Family child care homes and centers could get $5,000, and center-based programs could receive $7,500.

The city said the money is being given to help an industry that took a hit during the pandemic. 

“Since the onset of the pandemic, Sacramento County has seen the permanent closure of 272 child care facilities and a 13% drop in the childcare workforce,” the city’s post said.

Some centers and child care homes may have already been contacted by the local nonprofit Child Action, Inc. to be informed about the stipend. The applications were opened on Nov. 10 and will remain open until the funds run out. 

According to the city, the money can be used to hire staff, provide sign-on and retention bonuses and cover operational expenses and supplies.

“Parents returning to work are struggling now more than ever as waitlists get longer and child care options get slimmer,” said Mayor Pro Tem Eric Guerra, who spearheaded the program. “This investment not only assists our providers, it also helps keep our child care workers employed and provides the critical support our families need.”

Applications from those with the following zip code will be accepted: 95821, 95822, 95823, 95825, 95826 and 95838. To be eligible, the applicant must meet certain requirements. 

  • Licensed before the COVID-19 pandemic, March 13, 2020.
  • Currently active and in good standing with Community Care Licensing.
  • Privately owned or operating as a non-profit.
  • Providing care in the City of Sacramento to children aged 0-5.
  • Negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of $881,000 will be allocated, which will go to about 67 child care homes and 67 centers.

The city said it would also be working with its partners to help people become providers or workers in the industry. One of their approaches to help the industry is to provide a stipend to help providers establish a child care center or home. The other is through an apprenticeship program to help people with job placement.