As of mid-April, over 21% of Hawaii’s labor force filed unemployment claims, putting Hawaii at one of the highest state-wide rates of unemployment due to the pandemic. Just 30% of childcare providers were open, but they are serving far fewer children than pre-pandemic. Of the remaining 70%, many are unsure if they will reopen or know how they will financially manage.
Hawaii Community Foundation has launched the Home-Based Child Care (HBCC) Emergency Fund, powered by the Hawaii Resilience Fund (HRF), to provide relief to licensed home-based child care providers across Hawaii. The Fund is intended to support child care providers currently serving health heroes and other essential workers. The Fund also seeks to lessen the potential for permanent closure of child care, especially in areas where home-based care is the primary option for families. The awards recognize the key role child care professionals play in helping our island communities weather the COVID-19 crisis and ease the burden on providers so that their focus can be on caring for children and families and themselves. In May, HCF awarded 125 grants to licensed family child care providers across every county in the state with an average of $2,000 per grant.