Staff Report

First 5 Santa Barbara received its first shipment of mission-critical supplies for childcare providers caring for the children of essential workers and vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The supplies include 3-ply masks and disinfectant, and a limited number of books for families that will be distributed from Children’s Resource and Referral locations. A second delivery of supplies is expected in the next few weeks with plans to include diapers and wipes. 

“There are hundreds upon hundreds of early childhood educators in Santa Barbara County and beyond, on the front lines, selflessly and tirelessly providing consistency, safety and nurture to the children of essential workers,” said Jacqui Banta, Chief Operating Officer of Children’s Resource & Referral of Santa Barbara County.

“Many are expanding their hours in the evenings and weekends to ensure our healthcare system continues to operate, grocery stores and gas stations remain open, and our first responders are available.” 

“Child care has been, and continues to be, the backbone of our economy, allowing parents to go to work and keep society functioning,” said Wendy Sims Moten, executive director of First 5 Santa Barbara County.

The supply delivery to Santa Barbara County is part of a First 5 statewide effort. In mid-April, the First 5 California Commission approved up to $4 million in emergency funding to provide 60 days of supplies to childcare providers serving essential workers and the broader community supporting vulnerable populations (e.g., family resource centers). The distribution of emergency supplies to each county is determined using a formula based on birth rate.

“It is important that child care providers and families with children have access to critical supplies during this extraordinary time,” said Camille Maben, executive director of First 5 California. “Working with our First 5 county partners, we hope this investment provides a measure of relief.”

First 5 Santa Barbara County Children and Families Commission, funded by Proposition 10, works in partnership with individuals and organizations throughout the county to support the health, early learning and well-being of children prenatal to age 5 and their families.  For more information, go to, Facebook at F5SBC, or call (805) 560-1039.