Skip to Content

Emergency child care fund set up to help essential workers in Santa Barbara County

united way santa barbara county
United Way of Santa Barbara County

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - A fund has been set up in Santa Barbara County in response to the growing need for child care for children of employees working in essential positions.

The fund was established with United Way of Santa Barbara County. Several local philanthropic foundations have joined the effort, led by Jane and Paul Orfalea/the Audacious Foundation and the Natalie Orfalea Foundation, with Lou Buglioli, according to a news released from United Way.

A committee has been established to review applications so funds may be distributed. 

Programs have already opened in Lompoc and Santa Barbara. Another program is being developed in Santa Maria.

Funding will help cover the cost of care and match needs with approved, licensed child care programs.

Child care workers will be trained by medical personnel on how to properly screen children for COVID-19 symptoms, as well as how to properly sanitize facilities and follow all recommended spacing and isolation procedures.

“Leaders in philanthropy are stepping up to meet the needs of our community in this difficult time in so many ways,” said Steve Ortiz, President & CEO of United Way. “This crisis requires the full engagement of our most essential workforce. We simply must make sure that their children are cared for in a safe environment while they keep us healthy and safe.”

If you are an employer of essential workers or if you are a child care provider who wants to help, contact Eileen Monahan at

If you would like to contribute toward the Emergency Child Care Fund, contact Steve Ortiz, President & CEO, United Way of Santa Barbara County at

To provide assistance to individuals, families and organizations supporting members of the community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may donate to the COVID-19 Joint Response Effort, a partnership between the Santa Barbara Foundation, the United Way of Santa Barbara County, the Hutton Parker Foundation and other leaders in philanthropy. Visit for more information.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Bryce Hanamoto

Bryce Hanamoto is a producer and digital journalist for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Bryce, click here.


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content