Philanthropic Responses to Emergency EC & Child Care Needs

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, many states closed child care programs with the exception of limited emergency child care sites – some closing all child care in group settings, some leaving the decision to individual providers. Even in states where child care was allowed to fully operate, providers were reporting significant decreases in attendance as families lost their employment and shelter in place to avoid the virus. While federal legislation passed at the end of March – the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and. Economic Security Act (CARES) – which sent more funding to states to support child care providers during this emergency, leaders in philanthropy and states stepped up to create emergency funds to help providers, for example by covering the cost of lost income or increased health and safety costs of operation.

Local & State Emergency Funds

ECFC is tracking and compiling early childhood and child care related emergency funds set up by or with involvement from private philanthropy.  If you are involved with or setting up an emergency fund in your community, region or state, please consider sharing information about the fund through our COVID-19 response survey.


Emergency Fund Demand

In April, ECFC began compiling key data about state and local ECE emergency funds – how many applicants were applying; how quickly funds were running out in order to provide leading advocates with data to help their advocacy efforts about the need for public investment in ECE at this time.


National Funds

National funds are also responding to the immediate and basic needs of child care providers and families, including:

Home Based Child Care Emergency Fund – established to catalyze the development of regional Home-Based Child Care (HBCC) Emergency Funds that provide direct financial support to HBCC providers. Home Grown will make      grants of up to $100,000 to regional organizations creating their own Emergency Funds for HBCC providers as outlined in the Home-Based Child Care Emergency Fund Toolkit. 

National Domestic Workers Alliance launched a pooled Coronavirus Care Fund administered by Alia to provide domestic workers with emergency financial relief for critical expenses while experiencing lost wages due to self-quarantine or job loss.

Other Fund Tracking Initiatives

Giving Compass – Coronavirus and COVID-19 Response Funds, a range of vetted funds established for immediate and long term needs

National Center for Family Philanthropy is tracking international, national and Response and Relief Funds

Candid (formerly Foundation Center) webpage on philanthropic response to the Coronavirus.  The page links to a map of related philanthropic giving, funding opportunities, newly-established funds, and related news.

Some state and regional associations of grantmakers are tracking local and regional emergency funds in their states.  Find your regional philanthropy serving organization here.

For more information on ECFC’s COVID-19 work and ongoing programming, including weekly COVID-19 calls for EC Funders, contact ECFC.