PALM DESERT – Supervisor V. Manuel Perez praises Riverside County’s new $15 million initiative to support child care centers throughout the county, approved yesterday by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.
By a vote of 5-0, the Riverside County supervisors adopted a proposal to boost child care, utilizing $15 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds the county received from the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law this year.
“I am excited that Riverside County is launching a $15 million initiative to support child care centers, both with infrastructure to expand and a bonus system for hiring child care workers,” said Supervisor Perez. “Investing in early education and child care is critical for our economy, business community, and supporting working parents and children throughout Riverside County. We appreciate our child care centers and child care and early education staff for the work they do and for continuing to serve.”
Riverside County has launched many programs, such as rental assistance, small business grants, nonprofit grants, technology for students and farmworker protection, through the allocation of federal funds to address the needs and concerns of residents throughout the pandemic.
The $15 million Early Care & Education Recovery Fund will stabilize early childhood education providers, which have faced increased costs to remain open during the pandemic, and ultimately expand the capacity of these centers to support the return of working parents to the workforce.
The fund will be administered by First 5 Riverside County. Five million dollars will be designated for infrastructure, for licensed child care facility projects to increase the number of early childhood education spaces. Ten million dollars will be disbursed for workforce needs, which can be used as one-time payments to recruit and retain child care staff.
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors has previously directed CARES Act funding to support child care centers, and Supervisor Perez, along with First 5 Riverside County, has helped distribute masks, personal protective equipment, and other supplies to providers in the Coachella Valley and Blythe community.
Supervisor V. Manuel Perez represents the eastern two-thirds of Riverside County on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Stretching from Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs, south to the Salton Sea and east to Blythe and the Colorado River, the 4th District is the largest geographical district in the county.
Supervisor Perez’s office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.