COVID-19 Impact

Supporting Families During COVID-19

March – September 2020

COVID-19 and the resulting shelter-in-place mandate caused momentous and unprecedented challenges for San Francisco’s families.


people became unemployed in San Francisco in the first few weeks of shelter in place.

In addition to businesses, many schools and child care programs closed.

> 0 %

of child care programs worried they would go out of business in 3 months without significant financial support

0 %

of childcare programs reported having to lay off or furlough early educators

“Our mission is to support families and children and meet them where they are. And that just looks a little different right now. So I help with deliveries, stop at food banks and drop off materials and supplies to people who need it most.”

Caitlin McNamara, Support Services Program Director, Support for Families, April 2020

Throughout the spring and summer of 2020, First 5 San Francisco was on the front lines along with numerous community partners, ensuring that families have essential supplies to meet basic needs, supporting family well-being, and building the capacity of family resource centers and early educators to adapt and respond to the crisis.

Supporting Basic Needs



ounces of formula


household supplies


gift cards and vouchers

0 /week

food pantry distributions by family resource centers


groceries and meals

“Families that we serve in our family resource centers live in extreme poverty and marginalized communities. Now we’re seeing an increase in brand new families that didn’t need community support before and now, as shelter-in-place goes on, they do.”

Katie Albright, Chief Executive Officer, Safe and Sound, April 2020

Ensuring Families’ Well-Being
0 %

of family resource centers (FRCs) made regular wellness check phone calls


English and Spanish books were distributed to families


learning kits sent to providers to support social distance instruction

“Our network of 26 FRC’s took our plan into action overnight – talking with leaseholders on behalf of families, making wellness calls and singing to children over Zoom and Facetime, and gathering food and supplies to distribute for those most in need.”

Berta Hernandez, Family Services Director, Instituto Familiar de la Raza, May 2020

Building Local Capacity

pieces of personal protective equipment distributed to emergency child care providers


children of essential workers served in 14 Emergency Child Care sites


emergency child care coordination meetings


child care re-opening meetings and family child care roundtables


weekly family resource center coordination meetings


Professional development sessions with UCSF experts on COVID-19 and child health

Families need someone to support them emotionally right now and I am here to support them, not only to care for the children, but also to give them the information they need.”

Zonia Torres, Family Child Care Provider, May 2020

First 5 San Francisco’s COVID-19 approach has sought to address families’ most urgent and emergent needs, while helping to build the city’s safety net to effectively serve families in the current crisis and beyond.

$ 0 million

in COVID-19 relief to partners, providers, and families

“Out of this crisis has come stronger connections and new collaborations across all of First 5’s partners to serve San Francisco’s families. Despite unimaginable challenges, our community has been dedicated to making sure children are supported with what they need to thrive.”

Theresa Zighera, Executive Director,
First 5 San Francisco, July 2020

Click link to download infographic pdf