Center for Early Learning

We envision a community where all children have the foundation to flourish.

The Center for Early Learning at Silicon Valley Community Foundation works to ensure that expectant parents, young children and families in Silicon Valley get the care, education and resources they need.

Whether it’s through advocacy, research, connection or activation, we look for creative solutions to ensure healthy child development and make high-quality early education available to all families in the Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

What We Do

The Center for Early Learning works with leaders in every sector to enact policy and implement programs to help families access the resources they need.

Activating Leadership

Activating Leadership. We bring together elected and government officials, civic leaders, foundations and nonprofit organizations to promote healthy child development and education.

Our successful Choose Children initiative during the 2018 California gubernatorial primary and elections helped make sure that our next governor would serve as a champion for young children. Stay tuned on our 2020 Choose Children Santa Clara County Initiative.

Catalyzing Investment

Catalyzing Investment. We leverage our position in philanthropy to facilitate greater investment from both private funders and government in young children and their families.

CEL commissions research to determine how to expand philanthropic investment in early care and education. Our report offers a roadmap for how leaders in the field of early childhood development can motivate and maintain long-term investments in their work to support children and families.

Spreading Knowledge

Supporting Innovation and Spreading Knowledge. We provide resources and expertise, test new ideas and spread information that advance proven, actionable solutions to make a difference in children’s lives.

The Big Lift is a bold early learning program that aims to lift up the children of San Mateo County and surrounding areas by providing quality preschool, summer learning programs and supporting ongoing family engagement and school attendance.

Research and Resources

The Center for Early Learning: A Program of Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Connecting Home and the Pediatrician’s Office to Achieve School Readiness in Silicon Valley

Living and Learning Well in a Digital World

The Center for Early Learning: A Program of Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Our Vision: a community where all children have the foundation to flourish.

Connecting Home and the Pediatrician’s Office to Achieve School Readiness in Silicon Valley

Pediatricians are families’ most trusted source for support. Pediatricians and researchers from the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford School of Medicine have increasingly recognized the importance of promoting school readiness among all low income patients.

Living and Learning Well in a Digital World

In this rapidly changing world of technology, we understand the struggle between embracing the promise of a digital world and knowing how and when to use technology in a developmentally appropriate way with young children. Learn more 


Parent Story Project

Tech Report

Developmental Screening

Building Learning Communities

This guide is intended to help California educators identify strategies and resources to support the implementation of a PreK–3 approach.

Early Childhood Technology Use Findings

Findings from a study on the use of technology with young children in Silicon Valley.

California Pediatrician Survey on Early Childhood Developmental Screening

The Center for Early Learning is gathering data on developmental screening efforts in Silicon Valley and will be using these findings for policy and advocacy efforts that lead to universal childhood developmental screenings.


Facilities Report

Kindergarten Readiness Guide

Measuring School Readiness

San Mateo County Child Care and Preschool Facilities Task Force Report

This task force recommends a unified and coordinated countywide effort be developed to focus solely on the development and sustainability of child care and preschool facilities in San Mateo County. Learn more 

Kindergarten Readiness Guide

This guide gives California families tools and tips to prepare their children for a successful launch into kindergarten. Read the full guide above or watch the video series.

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Measuring Children's Readiness for School

View SVCF's publications archive for more