Eligible parents with children at the Early Childhood Education Lab School may apply to receive an emergency grant.

SAN MARCOS — A new emergency fund established this month by the Palomar College Foundation will help essential workers with children at the Early Childhood Education Lab School (ECELS or Lab School) on campus.

As part of the Foundation’s ongoing efforts to support students during the COVID-19 health crisis, the Essential Worker Childcare Support Grant will provide up to $400 to families who find themselves in the position of needing to self-quarantine due to COVID-19.

The fund is open to essential workers from low-income or single-income families with at least one child at the Lab School, and who have no paid time off or other financial hardships, and who must quarantine at home with their Lab School-enrolled child.

“We at Palomar College deeply appreciate the essential workers who are serving our community during these trying times, and we’re grateful to the donors who made it possible to support them in this way,” said Interim Superintendent/President Dr. Jack Kahn.

The Foundation’s Executive Director, Stacy Rungaitis, said the fund was created following a donation by two benefactors with close ties to the Lab School “and were really concerned about our youngest Comets, and their parents.”

“The Lab School is serving so many essential-worker parents, and should they get into a self-quarantine situation, it’s just unnerving to think about what they would be facing,” said Rungaitis. “So to be able to provide those folks a little bit of assurance and hope through this funding will certainly go a long way.”

The Lab School serves the community at large as well as Palomar’s students and employees. Located near the W. Borden Road entrance to the San Marcos campus, the Lab School serves children from infancy through age 5. The facility reopened July 1 after several months of closures triggered by COVID-19 regulations.

“Any donations to the fund from the community will be matched by these generous donors,” Rungaitis said, adding that the Foundation has additional funds earmarked for the Lab School.

Donations to the Essential Worker Childcare Support Grant fund can be made by clicking here.