Press Release - September 22, 2020

Santa Clara County residents want a Supervisor who will make young children a top priority

85% of likely voters support making childcare and preschool affordable for low-income families

Santa Clara, CA, September 22, 2020  —Today, Silicon Valley Community Foundation released the results of a survey demonstrating that voters overwhelmingly support investments in early childhood programs that benefit babies, toddlers and preschoolers. The survey’s principal finding was that 52% of Santa Clara County voters are more likely to support a District 3 Supervisorial candidate who supports early childhood issues.

The survey is a key component of Choose Children Santa Clara, a campaign that seeks to engage and educate candidates for the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors in District 3 on the critical need for county-wide efforts to support early childhood investments. The Santa Clara County Voter Attitudes Toward Early Learning Issues survey was conducted in August 2020 by FM3 Research and surveyed 659 likely voters.

Key findings included:

  • More than 7 in 10 voters (71%) said that there is a need for additional funding for childcare programs in the area – on par with the need for public safety, environmental programs and public transportation.
  • Sixty-five percent of voters said that the struggle parents face in balancing childcare and work is a very serious problem.
  • Eighty-four percent of voters support making high quality childcare and preschool for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers affordable for all families.
  • Eighty-two percent of voters support guaranteed three months of paid family leave for new parents to care for their newborn child.
  • Nearly 3 in 4 parents in Supervisorial District 3 with children under age 5 (73%) report not being able to rely on their usual childcare provider during the pandemic.
  • The majority of parents of young children surveyed (55%) say that paying for childcare is a financial strain on their family.

“Permanent childcare center closures due to the pandemic have led to an increased lack of childcare available throughout the county, increasing the burden on parents who are already struggling to balance the high costs of living with the economic and health impacts of COVID-19,” said Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, superintendent of the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

“Even prior to the pandemic, families – especially those from low-income backgrounds – were struggling to access quality and affordable childcare programs,” said Nicole Taylor, president and CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. “With COVID-19 dramatically increasing this burden on families, we hope that data from this survey will galvanize the candidates for the District 3 seat to invest in solutions that will support our community’s children and their parents.”

In partnership with Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits, Choose Children and Silicon Valley Community Foundation in October will host a candidate forum to further encourage candidates to commit to policies and programs that will benefit young children and their families. Learn more at www.choosechildren.org.

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Choose Children Santa Clara County
Choose Children is a nonpartisan campaign launched by Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Center for Early Learning in 2016 to engage California’s then-candidates for governor on issues affecting the state’s babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Choose Children has shifted its focus to a local campaign committed to ensuring the next Santa Clara County Supervisor from District 3 is a champion for young children who makes early childhood care and education more accessible, affordable, and of higher quality for all children. The initiative is also led by Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Center for Early Learning in partnership with community, business, philanthropic, and educational leaders throughout the county. Learn more at www.choosechildren.org.

Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems. We engage donors and corporations from Silicon Valley, across the country and around the globe to make our region and world better for all. Our passion for helping people and organizations achieve their philanthropic dreams has created a global philanthropic enterprise committed to the belief that possibilities start here.  Learn more at siliconvalleycf.org.