‘That kind of money could really make or break businesses’: Non-profit to give money to child care facilities

SPOKANE, Wash. — Places caring for kids are doing what they can to stay open.

Child care facilities are making it work, but some are more in need of help than others.

Thanks to CARES Act funding, the City of Spokane had money to give to organizations trying to help others.

Community-Minded Enterprises received more than $200,000 to help child care facilities reopen or increase capacity.

“We just want to support these businesses with trying to keep a healthy revenue stream, so they can offer quality child care support to those families,” said Sara Desautel, the chief philanthropy officer with Community-Minded Enterprises.

Desautel understands how difficult it is for child care facilities to keep going right now. She said that child care is one of the organizations “bread and butter services.”

“This is already a demanding job, physically, emotionally, mentally. To add the pandemic to it, having to make ends meet, having to expose yourself here,” Brittney Morren explained to 4 News Now.

Morren feels all that stress when she walks into work at Lilac City Early Learning Center.

Owner Colleen Condon is doing what she can to keep her employees happy.

“With the health and safety of our staff, being able to maintain that, being able to keep our doors open, that’s really what I’m focused on,” she said.

RELATED: Child care centers prepare for increase in need as schools reopen remotely

Lilac City Early Learning Center is one that did not have to close like others did. However, Condon knows there is always a possibility of that happening.

“Especially knowing that we may end up experiencing a closure, that kind of money could really make or break businesses,” she said.

Running her business has not been easy during the pandemic.

“I haven’t run my business week-by-week since probably the first year that I’ve opened my center, and I’ve been running it week-by-week, maybe day-by-day, since March. That’s stressful,” she said.

Condon said she received money from a grant through the Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families. But, like any other business, any additional money helps them keep going.

“Child care is critical infrastructure, and until we start to support the system in that way, our families in our community are going to suffer. Because when child care providers close down, another one is not going to spring up, especially in these times,” Condon said.

Desautel says the city just awarded the money to them Monday night, so they’re still finalizing some details.

Once they do that, Desautel says they will reach out to child care providers and ask them to apply. They want to give the money out as soon as possible.

“They’re already operating on such thin margins, so to have to do all this additional work, we’re hoping we can alleviate some of that strain,” Desautel said.

How much money each provider gets will be dependent on how many people apply. Desautel says they plan to help providers who need it the most by looking at which programs have higher percentages of families that need the help the most.

There are some limitations for providers to get that money. If you’re a child care provider who is interested in this, contact Sara Desautel for more information at sarad@community-minded.org

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