SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — In April 2020, First 5 Santa Barbara County partnered with Children’s Resource and Referral of Santa Barbara County to begin distributing hundreds of essential supplies to early care and education providers throughout Santa Barbara County. The final shipment of emergency supplies through First 5 is scheduled for distribution on Saturday, December 5, 2020 at Children’s Resource and Referral locations in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara. 

Participants will receive disinfectants, adult and child masks, hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, thermometers, and gloves. Children’s Resource and Referral will be putting together 350 emergency supply kits using these products and distributing them following all public health guidelines. These supplies are in high demand as preschools and childcare programs continue to remain open and provide much needed child care services for families who are returning to work.

“People have lost their lives, loved ones, and jobs,” said Jacqui Banta, Chief Operating Officer for Children’s Resource and Referral. “Schools have been closed, many businesses and so on. The one constant in our community that has certainly served as a quiet backbone to the essential workforce and inevitably to our health care systems and economy, is child care.”

On April 13, 2020, the California Children and Families Commission held an emergency meeting to consider authorizing funding to provide relief to California’s childcare providers. The Commission, acting on the urgent nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, approved up to $4 million to support the acquisition and distribution of locally-identified essential supplies for babies and young children, and much-needed sanitation items.

To facilitate the purchase and distribution of these supplies, First 5 California worked with SupplyBank.Org., a California-based nonprofit that specializes in leveraging bulk purchasing power and innovative supply chain strategies to provide low-cost supplies to organizations supporting low-income and vulnerable populations. Supply Bank will be present on Dec. 5 to observe the assembly and distribution process. 

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We appreciate everything you do for us to keep our business safe and healthy,” said Blanche Holford, owner of Santa Maria Family Child Care.

“Childcare is an integral and critical component of our community,” said Dr. Susan Salcido, Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools and First 5 Children and Families Commissioner. “We are pleased to be part of the team distributing personal protective equipment and supplies to childcare and preschool providers so they can continue to support families and the community. We are tremendously grateful for the collective efforts supporting children and families during the pandemic.” 

“First 5 Santa Barbara County and partners are pleased to continue providing essential materials to ensure ongoing healthy and safe practices in childcare,” stated Wendy Sims Moten, Executive Director of First 5 Santa Barbara County. “This is important to ensure that the focus is on providing care while not worrying about running out of materials to keep our children and childcare providers safe. Parents can go to work and keep society functioning, knowing their children are safe and supported.”

About First 5 Santa Barbara County

For more information, go to, Facebook at, or call (805) 560-1039. 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. 

About First 5 California

First 5 CA was established in 1998 when voters passed Proposition 10, which taxes tobacco products to fund services for children ages 0 to 5 and their families. First 5 California programs and resources are designed to educate and support teachers, parents, and caregivers in the critical role they play during a child’s first five years- to help California kids receive the best possible start in life and thrive.  For more information, please visit

About Children’s Resource and Referral of Santa Barbara County 

Child care resource and referral agencies (R&R) are state-funded, community-based programs that exist in every county in California. R&Rs make up a well-developed system that supports parents, child care providers, and local communities. The California Department of Education, Child Development Division has supported these efforts since 1976. R&R services are free and available to all parents and child care providers. For more information about Children’s Resource and Referral of Santa Barbara County, please visit


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