The San Diego Foundation announced $1.3 million grant through its Early Childhood Initiative to support eight nonprofit programs in San Diego county, with awards ranging in value from $150,000 to $200,000. The goal of the Early Childhood Initiative is to increase access to affordable, quality early care for children in San Diego, strengthening families and supporting a competitive regional workforce.
Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) with the Chicano Federation of San Diego County were awarded $200,000 to implement free training for early childhood care professionals. The training will help increase knowledge and skills among 80 family childcare providers, as well as equip them with the tools to address mental health issues and support low-income families in identifying challenges and accessing care in South San Diego County.
In a report released earlier this year, The San Diego Foundation and the San Diego Workforce Partnership established a strong link between childcare and economic development. The report outlines how the optimal childcare and workforce system requires everyone, including local governments, school districts, parents and organizations, to work together to improve San Diego’s workforce.
Since then, COVID-19 has seriously impacted childhood development by increasing inequities in learning opportunities and widening the digital divide. Even before the pandemic, the report showed that as many as 335,000 children in San Diego County who needed childcare, lacked access. As more childcare providers have had to close down or limit numbers, the demand for quality, affordable care has only grown while the supply has sharply declined. It’s more important than ever to ensure students of all backgrounds have equal access to the necessary programs, tools and teachers in order to succeed.
“We knew that childcare providers and families alike were facing obstacles before the emergence of a global pandemic and now, as a result of the economic and health crisis, those challenges have increased significantly. Right now, it’s critical that we invest in programs and organizations that will ensure all San Diego children and families receive equitable access to quality and affordable care.”Katie Rast, Director of Community Impact at The San Diego Foundation.
In the past year, The San Diego Foundation has granted more than $5 million through its Early Childhood Initiative and COVID-19 Community Response Fund to uplift children, families and childcare providers. This includes efforts to strengthen the regional ecosystem, increase cross-sector collaboration, and promote systems-level change through strategic and collective impact.
The current grants will result in service and facility expansions, improved access to early intervention and behavioral health support, and resources for disproportionately impacted children and families.
For more information, the Early Childhood Initiative and the eight awardees visit The San Diego Foundation.