Homepage image from First 5 San Diego.
Homepage image from First 5 San Diego.

First 5 San Diego has donated $500,000 to the San Diego COVID-19 Children’s Fund to help parents with young children who are working in essential jobs pay for childcare, officials announced Wednesday.

Sara Jacobs, chair of San Diego for Every Child, is donating $400,000 to the fund, bringing the total donated to $900,000.

First 5 San Diego says it promotes the health and well-being of young children during their most critical years of development — from the prenatal stage through age 5.

The Children’s Fund was established in March by San Diego for Every Child, a coalition of individuals and groups working to end child poverty in San Diego County.

“We are listening to the needs of our families and responding the best we can to support them during this challenging time. We want to help ensure that parents who are working outside of the home have access to quality childcare and know that their kids are in a stable and healthy learning environment,” said Alethea Arguilez, executive director of First 5 San Diego.

“It is an honor for First 5 San Diego to contribute to this fund, so our youngest children and their families can get the support they need.”

Parents who are essential workers will be able to apply for vouchers from the San Diego COVID-19 Children’s Fund to help them pay for childcare at Sandiegoforeverychild.org/covid19. The fund now totals $1.1 million.

“First 5 San Diego’s generosity will help us accelerate and continue the efforts we have put in place to support our families and young children,” said Erin Hogeboom, San Diego for Every Child director.

The San Diego COVID-19 Children’s Fund is available to help meet the needs of families and childcare providers in the areas of food and nutrition, childcare and equitable distance learning. The fund is administered through a partnership of nearly a dozen nonprofits.

— City News Service