Child Care

The Critical Lack of Affordable, Accessible Quality Care

Ask any working parent and a top concern is finding and affording good quality child care. While there are subsidized programs for low-income families, those programs have only about half the spaces needed. There are close to two children for every licensed family child care and center-based care facility. Working families who do not qualify for subsidized care find that child care costs can be prohibitively expensive. For all parents there is a serious lack of care available for infants and toddlers. So whether the problem is cost, availability or indefinite time on waiting lists, the lack of accessible and affordable quality child care is a major roadblock for parents in the workforce.

Further, quality early child development can make an immense impact on a child’s life. Children in high quality early care and education programs have stronger language skills, are more prepared to start school, and have greater social and emotional development. Yet quality child care is a necessity beyond the reach of many families.

Data courtesy of the 2017 SB County Child Care Needs Assessment.

Taking Action

As part of the Santa Barbara Foundation’s commitment to strengthening working and vulnerable families, we are engaging with our partners to address the challenges of providing quality care for our youngest residents. We are working with private and social sector childcare providers to support increased access to affordable and accessible childcare opportunities.

William and Lottie Daniel have been investing in child care for the workforce since 1997 with the Santa Barbara Foundation. The Daniel Fund makes Child Care Scholarships available to nonprofit organizations that provide quality child care for working families. Given the cost of living and shifts in the workforce in our county, we at the Santa Barbara Foundation view quality child care as a basic need for working families, along with food, shelter, and health.

Child Care Grant Program

If you are interested in contributing to the solutions, we welcome your partnership and appreciate your support.

Our Strategic Priorities were chosen as a result of our investigation into how SBF could have the greatest impact on solving today’s most persistent problems. The Strategic Plan was put together through a multi-year process of staff research, data gathering, interviews, focus groups and board deliberation. Our strategic priorities for 2018-2023 are to work with our donors and partners to maintain a safety net for the vulnerable and find creative solutions to the problems of working families.

Make a Gift Child Care Community Grant Program

Committed to Community


Our Strategic Priorities were chosen as a result of our investigation into how the Santa Barbara Foundation could have a meaningful impact on solving today’s most persistent problems. The Strategic Plan was the result of a multi-year process of research, data analysis, interviews, focus groups and board deliberation. Our strategic priorities for 2018-2023 are to work with our partners and donors to maintain a safety net for the vulnerable and to find creative solutions to the problems of working families.


SBF Investments in Action in Child Care

We Advocate: Working Towards Affordable & Quality Child Care

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