Child Care Equity Infrastructure and Investment

San Jose, CA
University of North Carolina at Greensboro



Data Analytics, Data Collection, Process Improvement, Resident Engagment, Resilience, Equity, COVID-19, Policy Analysis, Economic Recovery

Procurement Method:

University Partner:

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Partnership Description

The City of San Jose will be working with Christine Murray, Director of the Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships, at UNC Greensboro on examining the child care equity infrastructure and investment opportunities in the community. The city aims to better understand the actions it can take to create a resilient child care system that better supports vulnerable populations. Professor Murray brings extensive community-engaged research experience, and aims to conduct mixed-methodology research that incorporates deep understanding of the local community along with national trends and impacts in the child care space. Learn more here:


The City of San Jose is seeking a comprehensive solution to improve child care policy, funding, and investments in infrastructure for our most vulnerable populations.


The Community and Economic Recovery Branch of the City of San Jose’s Emergency Operations Center, in partnership local government agencies and community partners are seeking to understand what and how, in the face of a major disaster such as the COVID-19 pandemic, government policy, decision making, and infrastructure investments that centers equity in child care services can result in more resilient cities and better support vulnerable populations in recovering from disaster. The importance of child care in supporting communities and cities overall has largely been undervalued, a fact highlighted by the current pandemic. Systemic disinvestment and inequity in service provision has resulted in the most vulnerable populations in San Jose being more heavily impacted by the effects of a long-term economic shutdown and social quarantining practices. The goal of this analysis is to better understand the most prominent inequities that surface in the face of disaster, what policies and practices are facilitating the perpetuation, and what government agencies and community partners can do to better invest as we seek to recover. 


The Community and Economic Recovery Branch was recently tasked the challenge of distributing millions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funding. Under the constrains of the federal limitations and timeframe to use the funding, the ability to engage community partners and residents in identifying the best use of the funding was greatly impacted. However, through community engagement and surveying that was conducted with stakeholders and residents, the City was able to identify a priority around child care services.  This resulted in the desire to better understand how we might approach the challenge of distributing relief funding through the child care lens and how to generate positive outcomes for all residents regardless of race, gender, age, or income.  


It is undeniable that the City of San Jose will face more major emergencies and disaster in the future. Considering this, it is necessary that we have a different discussion about child care and critical investments in infrastructure and changes in policy that can provide positive outcomes for all. The fractured approach to child care provision and the lack of emphasis on the issue in disaster planning continue to perpetuate inequality and negatively impact vulnerable populations disproportionately. It is the hope of the stakeholders engaged in this project that the solutions we seek to develop here can establish a new narrative and precedent for child care policy and service. 


Academic research teams will have access to:

  • City of San Jose 
    • Community and Economic Recover Branch of the Emergency Operation Center
    • Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services
    • San Jose Public Library
  • Relevant and available City and County data and reports, including:
    • preschool registrations
    • youth programs 
  • Community partners available to be interviewed includes:
    • First Five
    • County of Santa Clara
    • Subcontractors
    • Community Organizations
    • Social Services 

Requirements & Outcomes

The City of San Jose seeks a research team that will help to seek understanding and solutions for the following:

  • What are the major child care inequities, who are the most vulnerable and impacted populations, and what are the best interventions to result in more equitable outcomes for all?
  • Understanding of critical infrastructure necessary to provide equitable child care?
  • How can government and community agencies work to coordinate efforts and establish accountability for providing high quality childcare?
  • Identify and craft messaging of the benefits of childcare for government stakeholders and all residents, including those without children at home.

These areas of interest are critical to achieving long-term outcomes and needs, such as:

  • Establishing a shared understanding of individual stakeholders and responsibilities in developing and implementing solutions.
  • Create a practical disaster response and recovery implementation strategy for the City and partners agencies. 
  • Build an integrated, effective, and equitable child care system. 

The hope is that in achieving these outcomes, we are able to create a precedent to transform the narrative around child care equity and infrastructure investment. 


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