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Grover Beach invests $50,000 in child care assistance 

click to enlarge DEEPLY INVESTED The Boys and Girls Club plans to boost after school programs for Grover Beach with its share of the ARPA grant. - COURTESY PHOTO OF BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS OF SOUTH SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY
  • COURTESY PHOTO OF BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS OF SOUTH SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY
  • DEEPLY INVESTED The Boys and Girls Club plans to boost after school programs for Grover Beach with its share of the ARPA grant.

Roughly 20 families stand to de-stress financially because Grover Beach funneled $50,000 into child care support services.

The Grover Beach City Council identified a growing need for more investment in child care during its Oct. 12 meeting, approving the funds to be split equally between the San Luis Obispo County YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club.

"The city realizes that child care is a critical issue for our community for the well-being of families and for working parents to have care for their children.The lack of reliable and affordable child care availability has a significant impact on working parents which inhibits economic activity and recovery," Grover Beach City Manager Matthew Bronson said.

The $50,000 is a grant from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that's meant for child care assistance. It adds to an August 2020 initiative where the city allocated $50,000 in general fund money for child care. The ARPA grant will be channeled into scholarships and extracurricular programs. Bronson said it's expected to last until the end of the current school year in June 2022.

"The city will work with the Boys and Girls Club and YMCA to report back to the [City] Council in 2022 on the use of these funds and other opportunities for support," he said.

Rebecca Britton, the executive director of the South County chapter of the Boys and Girls Club, told New Times that more than 75 percent of the group's youth members live in the Grover Beach zip code. Three of its seven service sites are in the beach city too. Many of the families the club serves rely on scholarship programs to help them with daily costs.

"In addition to providing a safe and fun place for our community's youth to be while their families are away from the home, our goal is not to put fees on the backs of families we serve," Britton said.

Monica Grant, the chief executive officer of SLO County YMCA, said that the approved money would help families and business through the pandemic.

"As the economic impact from the pandemic continues, these child care subsidies will ensure that our Y's before/after school and camp programs remain affordable and accessible for working families who live in Grover Beach," she said.

City Councilmember Daniel Rushing said he appreciated the city taking initiative on child care.

"My daughter spent years in the Boys and Girls Club after school, and they're an amazing operation. I hear only amazing things about the YMCA," Rushing said during the meeting. "This past year and going forward, I know child care is huge. The fact that Grover Beach was able to step up is hopefully going to help out a lot of people."

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