COVID-19 Childcare Project

COVID-19 Childcare Project

Donate to Childcare


Help for Childcare Providers

With the current COVID-19 shelter-in-place order from Bay Area health officials, along with California’s state-mandated closures, childcare providers are at risk of losing their livelihoods. Private providers –especially those operating in home-based settings – often have limited financial means. They operate with small profit margins and are particularly vulnerable.

The primary goals of the COVID-19 Childcare Project are as follows. Hover over a goal to read more details.

  1. Provide economic relief to private childcare providers, who represent a sector of low-income workers
  2. The average annual salary for a home-based childcare provider in California is $33,000. A loss of income, albeit temporary, could devastate their ability to provide care and meet personal basic needs. Although private childcare providers are eligible to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program and other small-business loans, these programs can’t efficiently and effectively meet the needs of all small businesses across the country. And as the Bay Area shelter-in-place order threatens to extend long beyond its originally projected end date, private childcare providers need increasingly more financial resources.

  3. Protect the role of private childcare providers as a valuable resource for underserved families
  4. Home-based childcare providers are a vital resource in underserved communities. They are more likely than large centers to provide childcare for:

    • Children from low-income families
    • Children with special needs
    • Infants and toddlers
    • Workers with nontraditional or extended hours
  5. Maintain and preserve the supply of childcare in our region
  6. Prior to COVID-19, the Bay Area already faced an extreme shortage of childcare. As more workers return to jobs outside their homes, more parents may need to place their child(ren) in childcare, whereas they were previously able to rely on schools, after-school programs and summer camps.


Hosted by Silicon Valley Community Foundation's Early Childhood Development, the COVID-19 Childcare Project works with trusted partner organizations in Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties to provide private childcare providers with the following:

  • Navigation and technical assistance in accessing federal and state funding through programs such as the Payroll Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Program
  • Emergency grants of up to $10,000

As of April 1, the Childcare Project has granted $1,027,515 in funding to Bay Area childcare providers.

The project prioritizes applications from private childcare providers who do not qualify, or do not have the necessary documents to apply, for other relief funding such as federal stimulus dollars. Applications are also prioritized for private childcare providers who matched the following criteria prior to the healthcare crisis:

  • Operated in a home setting
  • Were located in a priority zip code according to the county’s childcare needs assessment
  • Served significant percentages of underserved children
  • Served infants, toddlers, and children with special needs

The selection process takes into account whether a childcare provider is currently:

  • Receiving any income, such as partially paid tuition or state subsidies
  • Participating in their local quality improvement initiative

Request Assistance

SVCF CEL will partner with Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) as the lead agency to provide navigation and technical assistance to government relief aid, and to administer grants to applicant childcare providers in four counties. LIIF will work closely with these local partners:

  • First 5 Alameda County
  • San Francisco Office of Early Care and Education
  • San Mateo County COVID-19 Child Care Response Team
  • Build Up for San Mateo County's Children
  • Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE)

Learn More about LIIF »

Contact Information


Funds will be distributed regularly to counties based on a calibration of needs determined by input from local partners. To direct a donation to a specific county, please email Christine Thorsteinson.

Current SVCF fundholders may make contributions to the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund directly from their charitable funds via the donor portal. Fundholders may also email with questions.

If you would like to send a check, please write "2009 – COVID-19 Childcare Project" in the memo line and mail to:

Silicon Valley Community Foundation - Gift 
COVID-19 Childcare Project
PO Box 889235
Los Angeles, CA 90088-9235

If you're utilizing overnight delivery by courier, please mail to:

Lockbox Services - #0399235
Silicon Valley Community Foundation – Gift 
COVID-19 Childcare Project 
3440 Flair Dr.
El Monte, CA 91731


The Heising-Simons Foundation will seed $100,000 in funding for San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. First 5 Alameda County will seed $100,000 in funding for Alameda county. Prior to the pandemic and mandatory closures, the Bay Area already faced an extreme shortage of childcare, with an approximate gap of 40,000 slots in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties alone. As we transition into an extended recovery phase from COVID-19, this shortage will become increasingly apparent with additional demand for childcare.

Learn More 

To learn more about the COVID-19 Childcare Project or become a partner in our childcare response and recovery effort, please contact Christine Thorsteinson, SVCF’s Director of Early Education

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