Today the governor approved $31 million in the state budget to create the Emergency Child Care Bridge Program. With this funding, counties will be able to provide caregivers and parenting youth with immediate access to up to six months of crucial child care services.
In addition, caregivers will receive the assistance of navigators to help find longer-term child care options beyond the first six months. The bill also supports trauma-informed training for child care workers so they can help abused and neglected children recover.
The Emergency Child Care Bridge program promises to ease one of the major obstacles faced by families who want to provide a home for a child in foster care. To date, young children have too often languished in emergency shelters because families wanting to care for them have not been able to access child care, forcing them to choose between caring for a child and continuing to work. Other potential caregivers have school or other obligations that make childcare services critical to their ability to care for a child. This new funding will enable more families to become foster parents, helping address the critical shortage of available foster homes. At the same time, trained child care workers will be able to help children recovering from abuse and neglect.
Thank you and congratulations to our partners across the state, including California Alliance of Caregivers, CAPPA, Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles, Children Now, DCFS Los Angeles, the LA Chamber of Commerce, CWDA and the USC School of Social Work, who worked tirelessly to support this important legislation!