SAN MATEO, Calif. (BCN)– San Mateo city officials announced a $2 million program Monday to provide financial assistance and logistical support to private and nonprofit childcare providers within the city. The city launched its Child Care Facilities Fund program, which leverages development fees to expand licensed childcare spaces within the community, according to a news release from city officials.

The funding will be for capital improvements that result in new, licensed childcare space within the city. Funding will vary based on the specific proposal and may be forgivable under certain circumstances. Funds will be awarded on a first-come basis so interested providers are encouraged to apply soon.

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San Mateo has also created a childcare startup guide to help interested providers better understand how to access local and state funds as well as license requirements, develop a business plan, select a location, navigate the construction permitting process and more. “Childcare is a fundamental need for local families, but there is a significant lack of available spaces in the community,” Mayor Rick Bonilla said in the announcement.

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