San Diego launches employee benefit program to assist with childcare costs

San Diego City Mayor Todd Gloria
File photo/

Pilot program funded through federal grant

SAN DIEGO – As part of an ongoing effort to support the City of San Diego’s workforce, the city is launching a pilot program to support employees with the cost of child care for children ages 0-12. The Municipal Child Care Benefit Pilot Program is funded through a federal grant.

“We know the high cost of quality childcare can create a financial burden for families,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “By supporting our employees with this childcare benefit, they can confidently come to work every day and continue providing the services San Diegans depend on. This pilot program will help us better understand the childcare needs across our 12,000-person workforce and help the city attract and retain skilled employees for the future.”

Earlier this month, Mayor Todd Gloria also signed a dramatic expansion of paid parental leave for city workers, along with a plan making it easier for employees to access pregnancy disability benefits.

Participation in the Municipal Child Care Benefit Pilot program will be available to eligible employees with monthly payment amounts based on need. To be eligible to apply, city employees must have an individual base gross income less than $95,350 per year, work full-time or work at least 20 hours per week while also enrolled in a training or higher education program.

Benefit payments may range between $100-$1,000, per dependent, based on family need factors. Those factors include but are not limited to permanent housing status, military or veteran status, whether the family is fostering a child, or if the child has an individual education plan (IEP) or disability. These need factors, along with other components, will contribute to the amount a family may be eligible to receive.

Once applications are reviewed and approved, benefit payments will be dispersed to childcare providers monthly, starting in September. Funding for the employee benefit program comes through a $2 million federal community project award secured by Rep. Sara Jacobs, who represents the 51st congressional district.

“The cost of childcare shouldn’t prevent parents from going back to work and advancing their careers – but that’s the case for so many San Diegans, including many of the amazing employees who keep our city running,” said Rep. Sara Jacobs. “That’s why I’m so proud to have secured $2 million in federal funding to create a pilot program that covers the childcare costs for the City of San Diego’s workforce, so they have the support they need to keep serving our communities. I’m excited to see this program up and running and all the good it creates for the next generation of San Diegans, parents, and our local economy.”

The city’s Office of Child and Youth Success will oversee implementation of the pilot program and will support employees in the application process. The city has contracted with Tootris, a cloud-based software provider that specializes in helping parents and providers connect and transact in real-time, empowering working parents to secure quality childcare services.

Eligibility and need factors for the Municipal Child Care Benefit Pilot program were developed in consideration with other subsidized childcare programs implemented in California.

(City of San Diego Release)

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