First 5 Santa Barbara County recently received its first shipment and will begin distributing mission-critical supplies to child care providers caring for the children of essential workers and vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supplies that include three-ply masks and disinfectant as well as a limited number of books for families will be distributed from Children’s Resource and Referral locations, a county spokeswoman said.
“Many [child care providers] are expanding their hours in the evenings and weekends to ensure our health-care system continues to operate, grocery stores and gas stations remain open, and our first responders are available,” said Jacqui Banta, chief operating officer of Children’s Resource & Referral of Santa Barbara County.
A second delivery expected in the next few weeks is scheduled to include diapers and sanitary wipes.
Emergency supplies are distributed to each county using a formula based on birth rate, the spokeswoman said.
The supplies delivery is part of a First 5 statewide effort launched in mid-April when the First 5 California Commission approved up to $4 million in emergency funding to provide 60 days of supplies to child care providers serving essential workers and resource centers that support vulnerable populations.
“Child care has been, and continues to be, the backbone of our economy, allowing parents to go to work and keep society functioning,” said Wendy Sims Moten, executive director of First 5 Santa Barbara County.
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