On April 4, 2020, Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order, that was intended to make child care subsidies available for Essential Workers in California, during the COVID-19 crisis. Unfortunately, this executive order did not come with additional child care funding. In Solano County, Child Care Subsidies are provided in the form of Child Development Centers, located and managed by such entities as school districts and Solano Community College. The other form of subsidy is in the form of a voucher program, which is administered by Solano Family & Children’s Services (SFCS). The voucher system provides the parent greater flexibility in choosing different types of child care providers (center-based care, family child care homes, and license-exempt providers), as well as flexibility in the hours of care needed (including evenings & weekends). Many of the Solano County Subsidized Child Development Centers have been closed due to school district campus closures. Voucher funding provided to SFCS from the State Department of Education, that would otherwise be available to serve essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis, is not available as our California Alternative Payment Program (CAPP) is fully enrolled, and has a waiting list. Solano County is provided a specific amount of child care subsidies for both the Child Development Center Contracts and Voucher Contracts. The amount of funding we receive is never enough to fully meet the needs of all eligible families. We are hopeful that the California Department of Education will work with the Administration to release more funds in order to serve our present families on the program, and the additional essential workers who qualify for this temporary assistance.
In the meantime, there are licensed family child care homes and centers that are still open and making spaces available to essential workers who can afford to pay for their child care. Families in need of child care providers can contact Solano Family & Children’s Services at 707-863-3950 Ext. 709 or by going to www.solanofamily.org and filling out the Child Care Referral form for a list of licensed child care providers.