Every child deserves the best possible start in life. Children are born learning, and the care and education they receive in their first five years are the building blocks to future success in the classroom, in the workforce and in life. Decades of evidence and research demonstrate the critical importance of high-quality early learning experiences, particularly in offsetting the effects of sustained stress and adversity often associated with living in poverty. However, even in the heart of Silicon Valley, children who are Black and/or Latinx, low income, have undocumented status and/or special needs often do not have equitable access to the care, education and resources they need to enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
The nonprofit organizations below are changing the story for the children and families of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. These innovative, high-quality early care and education programs, led by courageous educators and community leaders, are increasing equitable access to early care and education for children who have often been underserved by our systems.
We have invested in and partnered with these nonprofits to ensure all children have the foundation to flourish. We hope you will join us in supporting these local organizations advancing equity in education.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. We encourage you to learn more and get to know the organizations making a difference for young children in your community, including those operated by your local school district. Remember, you may always contact SVCF if we can support your learning. Organizations that were included in a SVCF Giving Guide within the past 12 months were excluded from this list.
Definitions of Cause Areas in this guide:
- Childhood Advocacy – These organizations are working at the local, state and federal level to drive policy change and greater public investment in early care and education systems.
- Early Care and Education – These organizations provide subsidized infant and toddler care and preschool.
- Early Care and Education Support – These organizations provide resources and expertise to support early care and education programs and educators.
AbilityPath provides a wide range of programs designed to nurture and support a child's development in a compassionate, inclusive, and fun environment that treats each child as a unique individual. AbilityPath's team of dedicated specialists is trained to nurture all aspects of a child's motor, cognitive, communication, and social-emotional development.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
All Five is dedicated to empowering all families to choose high-quality early childhood education for their children. All Five believes that every child, regardless of family background, is a whole and unique person, with vast inner resources for understanding the self and the desire to contribute to the world. All Five teaches kindness and leadership as well as critical thinking.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Bring Me a Book brings the joy and transformational power of books to all children. The organization brings the books selected by the children to their school, home and wherever children are served — such as Boys and Girls Clubs, medical clinics and Birth to Three programs -- through nonprofit partners that have well-established relationships with families.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Build Up for San Mateo County's Children addresses the critical shortage of affordable, high-quality child care and preschool options by engaging local companies to create child care facilities, identify resources, and generate funding to renovate existing facilities. SVCF fundholders: Build Up is fiscally sponsored by Child Care Coordinating Council of San Mateo County (4Cs). Grants should be directed to 4Cs; please specify that the grant purpose is to support Build Up San Mateo.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
California Young World provides quality child development and values a safe, nurturing enviornment with a hands-on approach with children's families. Its centers respect individual capabilities and needs of each child, offering a comprehensive program of age-appropriate activities with a teacher-directed curriculum.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Catalyst Family Inc.'s branch, Catalyst Kids, enriches children's lives through innovative support, education and enhanced family and provider services. Its programs put families at the center of a community of support services.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Catholic Charities' Family Resource Centers (FRCs) serve families with children prenatal through age five, regardless of income level and legal status. Its prevention and education services promote the importance of school readiness through family engagement, early education, wellness and community leadership and advocacy programs. Services are available in Santa Clara County's Supervisorial Districts 1, 2 and 4 through Catholic Charities.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Child Care Coordinating Council of San Mateo County (4Cs) connects and empowers families, educators, and child care providers with resources today for a stronger San Mateo County tomorrow. For over 45 years, 4Cs has been helping meet the childcare needs of parents living and working in San Mateo County by supporting licensed child care providers and preschool programs and investing in professional development and improving program quality.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Child Care Law Center educates, advocates, and litigates to make child care a civil right. It is the only organization in the country that works exclusively on the laws that affect child care, using a variety of legal and policy strategies to increase the quality and availability of child care, especially for children from low-income households and in families of color in California.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Children Now builds power for kids by finding common ground among influential opinion leaders, interest groups and policymakers, who together can develop and drive socially innovative "win-win" approaches to helping all children achieve their full potential.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Community Equity Collaborative (CEC) launches, connects, and supports initiatives for educational equity and early learning on the San Francisco Peninsula by creating resources that support equitable education from preschool to high school. It convenes local organizations to elevate conversations about equity in education and connects on-the-ground partners to maximize the impact of their work.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Early Edge California works to advance policy changes and investments that expand high-quality early learning programs for children from birth to age eight. It serves as a voice for the needs of families and early learning teachers by informing lawmakers and leaders, building coalitions, and promoting quality programs.
SVCF fundholders: Early Edge California is fiscally sponsored by New Venture Fund. Please specify Early Edge California in the grant purpose.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Educare California at Silicon Valley is an innovative early learning center that narrows the opportunity gap for low-income children ages zero through five and their families and caregivers. With its partners, the organization offers 12 high-quality, full-day, year-round classrooms as well as support services and community resources through its Family Resource Center, satellite children's museum, and satellite public library.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Family Connections is a tuition-free school operator and family support organization serving families with children from birth through fifth grade in San Mateo County. Its mission is to provide underserved children, their families and their communities with the early childhood education and ongoing support they need to grow, dream and achieve.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Footsteps Child Care provides infants, children and their families with quality programs in a safe, nurturing and enriching environment, through caring and professional staff and family involvement. It ensures children are encouraged to pursue new and familiar interests, develop friendships, grow confidence and independence and continue to develop respect for themselves and others.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Foundation for San Mateo County Libraries provides innovative learning opportunities for young children and families, including The Big Lift Inspiring Summers and Raising A Reader San Mateo County. The foundation is proud to raise funds to support these and all the systemwide programs, services and initiatives of San Mateo County Libraries.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Go Kids enriches the community through delivery of high-quality, comprehensive and culturally sensitive childcare and development services that are accessible, affordable and cost-effective, with over 30 locations across Santa Clara, San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Good2Know Partners supports the vital work of early childhood education providers through its online community, Good2Know Network. Good2Know Network delivers bite-sized articles with useful teaching tips and tools, family engagement ideas, local virtual professional development events, research updates and advocacy opportunities.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Healthier Kids Foundation (HFK) aims to remove health barriers impacting Silicon Valley youth's health, learning and life success. HFK's programs focus on improving health care access and utilization, changing health behavior through education, and advocating for health policy and systemic change.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Institute for Human and Social Development (IHSD) is committed to providing the highest quality comprehensive early care, education and family services to support the school readiness for each child. Through child development centers, family childcare homes, and home-based visiting programs, IHSD offers services that are built upon the needs of the children, families and communities.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Kidango inspires children for academic success, empowers families to achieve their goals, and strengthens our diverse community. The organization provides free early education for qualifying families, allowing them to maintain or seek employment and to be financially stable.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Palo Alto Community Child Care (PACCC) provides care and education for Palo Alto's children and makes quality care accessible to all residents regardless of income. With more sites than any other agency in the city, PACCC is also a main source of training opportunities for other childcare providers in the community.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Parent Voices is a parent-run, parent-led grassroots organization fighting to make quality childcare accessible and affordable to all families. It combines leadership development, advocacy and community organizing in its efforts to increase funding, improve quality and provide better access to childcare.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Peninsula Family Service (PFS) strengthens our community by providing children, families and older adults the support and tools to realize their full potential and lead healthy, stable lives. PFS recognizes the need for innovative, professionally led, locally targeted solutions to secure the wellness and stability of our neighbors.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Raising A Reader engages caregivers in a book-sharing routine with their children from birth through age eight. The program fosters healthy brain development, healthy relationships, a love of reading and literacy skills critical for school success.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Rebekah Children's Services creates pathways to hope, happiness and well-being. The organization offers young children and their families an array of campus- and community-based mental health care, education, foster care and more. SVCF fundholders: Rebekah Children's Services is fiscally sponsored by Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Please specify Rebekah Children's Services in the grant purpose.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
The Library Foundation supports the San José Public Library to annually provide over 81,000 children and caregivers of all backgrounds with access to free, high-quality early education programs and resources. This tools create opportunities to learn about new ideas, skills and possibilities, as well as a safe space to explore, play, connect and grow.
Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
The San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) leads San Mateo County in developing and sustaining collaborative partnerships that support equitable, high-quality education and care for children birth through grade three and their families. It manages a variety of projects that offer services and supports to families in San Mateo County, with a focus on early care and education for children ages zero to eight years.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE)'s Early Learning Services Department operates Head Start, Early Head Start, and State Preschool programs. Its programs support the growth and development of children from birth to age five, promoting school readiness of young children from low-income families through local programs.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
SJB Child Development Centers provides high-quality, developmentally appropriate child development services for children zero through twelve years of age to strengthen and support families throughout Santa Clara County. The organization educates and empowers children and families through continuous assessments, thoughtful curricula, dedicated educators, professional development and a deep commitment to family engagement.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
Star Vista creates nurturing environments where children can learn and explore. Its early childhood services help parents provide a nurturing home and address psychological issues in very young children so they can succeed in school.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
The Big Lift initiative is led by San Mateo County, the San Mateo County Office of Education and Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The partnership aims to have 80% of the county's third graders reading proficiently by the end of third grade. The Big Lift combines high-quality and connected learning experiences from preschool to third grade to improve the development of San Mateo County students' reading proficiency levels and set students on a path for a lifetime of learning.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
The Primary School's model brings together all of the adults in a child's life, including parents, educators, and medical and mental health providers, starting from a very early age. This multidisciplinary approach helps close the achievement gap, ensuring that children and families living in underserved communities receive the support they need to be well, learn and thrive.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly
YWCA Golden Gate Silicon Valley strives to create a safe and socially just child-centered environment where children learn to understand, value and create a society where all people are treated equally. Each child's individual needs, personality, cultural background and families are valued and supported.Give through your SVCF advised fund Donate directly