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Emergency Child Care BRIDGE supports San Bernardino family

When a parent is no longer able to care for their child, a family member or friend may be tasked with the important role of caregiving. For Jacqueline Lopez, who lives in San Bernardino, the child care assistance she received with CCRC’s help through the California Emergency Child Care BRIDGE program was life changing.

Earlier this year, four young children came to live with Lopez, their aunt, and her husband.

“They needed family to stay with. They were in foster care with a family that wasn’t related,” says Lopez.

Despite the challenges of abruptly taking on the responsibility of several young children, Lopez and her husband couldn’t entertain a different outcome.

“I just knew I had to because they’re our family and I wanted them with family,” says Lopez. “If they’re with us, at least we can show them love while they’re with us.”

Lopez and her husband have plenty of love to share with their nieces and nephews, but they would need support with the major change to their lives and routine.

“[Our lives] changed dramatically. It was just me, my husband, and my granddaughter. So, to go from me and him and having our weekends together, then taking on four kids – it was a big life changer,” explains Lopez. “And one is autistic, so I’m still learning every day on how to work with him.”

Even getting the children into her care proved difficult because of all the paperwork involved. But Lopez says CCRC Child Navigator Zoe Zelaya helped make it all possible.

“Zoe helped me so much because no one was helping me find child care,” says Lopez. “I was basically doing it by myself. If it wasn’t for her, it probably would’ve been a few more months before I got them.”

With the help of Zelaya, Lopez secured child care with a trusted provider and the funds to pay that provider for the service.

“Without child care, it would be really hard to pay for daycare and to work and have peace of mind and know they’re in a good daycare,” shares Lopez. “I can’t quit my job, so this helps tremendously. Working full time and with the kids and not having someone who is reliable… I can’t just leave them with anyone. The BRIDGE program is the one that helped me through it all.”

Through the state’s Emergency Child Care BRIDGE program, which facilitates the immediate placement of foster children into a stable child care setting, CCRC helped secure for the family free care and, most importantly, peace of mind.

“CCRC was very important for us,” says Lopez.

The BRIDGE program is designed to provide child care and resources for those who take in foster children between the ages of birth to five, with additional services for siblings. Visit our website to learn more about the program and access resources.

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