Napa Valley-based organization helping children and their parents receives a North Bay GIVES award
Name of CEO or Leader of the charitable efforts or your group: Erika Lubensky
Their title: Executive Director
Company headquarters address: 3299 Claremont Way, Suite 1, Napa, CA 94558
With outreach to families in need during the pandemic, your organization has made its impact felt. It’s been reported it provided more than $4 million dollars in child care financial assistance to almost 500 low to moderate income families, more than $100,000 in PPE for local child care programs, and almost $1.25 million in small business grants to child care programs. Clearly impactful. How does this effort fit into the mission of your organization and why?
The mission of CRC is to provide children with the best possible start by empowering the adults who impact their care and education.
Whether a child is at home with a parent, in child care or preschool, or cared for by a friend or relative, CRC provides the adults who take care of children with the knowledge, tools, and resources so that children under their care thrive.
Strengthening the adults in a child’s life is part of our mission because if they aren’t supported, it is very difficult for the children they care for to thrive.
The pandemic wreaked havoc on child care programs almost causing the sector to collapse. Child care programs were vital during the shelter in place orders as they remained open to provide care for children of essential workers. CRC was there to support both essential workers and child care businesses.
We extended child care stipends for families to afford child care and small business grants for child care providers to afford cleaning supplies, face masks, hand sanitizer, thermometers, room dividers, plexiglass, additional cleaning services, and much more so that they could safely stay open through the pandemic.
Now they are providing care to children of families who are working to help our economy recover. If child care programs are forced to close, children do not have quality early learning environments that can prepare them for school and a lifetime of learning, families aren’t able to work, and our economy cannot recover.
We hear as well that your organization is out in the community, visiting places where those in need live. What’s the reason behind this sort of outreach and in what ways has it added to the value of your group’s work?
We are out in the community because many informal caregivers (Family, Friend and Neighbor caregivers) who are the backbone of our child care system and who provide care to our community’s most vulnerable children are not well connected to resources.
They often lack transportation and face language and technology barriers. Informal caregivers provide care during irregular hours and on weekends; this is essential for parents who work in hospitality and viticulture.
Through our partnerships with other community organizations, as well as the efforts of our bilingual staff, we have been able to reach an increasing number of caregivers.
Taking our playgroups and other early learning resources to families and informal caregivers where they live has been essential to strengthening the children they care for. As a community we need to make sure that all children have access to early learning as it provides an important foundation for success in school and a lifetime of learning.