BY SAM WATERSTONE | AUGUST 13, 2018
This July, the Santa Barbara Foundation awarded $158,500 to eight early care and education providers throughout Santa Barbara County as part of its Early Care and Education (ECE) community grant program. This program provides grants of up to $20,000 to nonprofits in the county that provide child care and education services to children 0-5 years of age.
Providing quality care and education for our community’s youngest members is essential. The quality of childcare directly impacts brain development, ability to learn, social-emotional wellness, and the building of healthy relationships. In an era when many families cannot afford to have a stay-at-home parent, the demand for child care far outpaces that which is available. The Santa Barbara Foundation believes that every child deserves access to these opportunities from the start, and we are passionate about finding effective ways to reach this goal.
The Santa Barbara Foundation’s strong history of support for early care opportunities dates back to 1934, when the Foundation provided food and funds to undernourished children and their families. The Foundation was also instrumental in the expansion of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County during the 1960s, and has offered many other youth grants over the years, including grants for St. Vincent’s Day Nursery – a full-time child care center for working mothers with young children. The Foundation has been committed to quality early care for nearly a century, and today this support lives on in the form of the ECE community grant program.
The ECE community grant program supports early care providers in leadership and professional development, family engagement, and strategies that promote equitable access to quality childcare. The program provides funding and support that increases capacity among nonprofit childcare providers and integral direct service providers.
“High-quality education for young children requires that educators are provided with ongoing training and education opportunities,” said Pedro Paz, Director of Grantmaking at the Santa Barbara Foundation. “The Foundation is pleased to enable local organizations to take advantage of these opportunities.”
The Foundation selected the following eight grant recipients that demonstrated their ability to provide high-quality care and education to children ages 0-5:
Carpinteria Children’s Project – $20,000
Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM) – $20,000
Children and Family Resource Services – $20,000
Isla Vista Youth Projects, Inc. – $20,000
Little House by the Park – $20,000
Santa Barbara County Education Office (Child Care Planning Council) – $20,000
Santa Maria YMCA – $20,000
Transition House – $18,500
The work done by these organizations, such as Isla Vista Youth Projects, Inc. (IVYP), reveals a vision that goes well beyond providing basic care to infants and young children. “High-quality early care and education is an important solution to so many of the problems faced by our most vulnerable community members – the cycle of poverty, the achievement and opportunity gap, and even childhood trauma,” explained Lori Lander Goodman, Executive Director for IVYP. “At IVYP, we wrap our arms around our children and their families, so that children receive the care they deserve while families are supported with access to services, counseling, and child development education. By providing comprehensive services, IVYP brings holistic solutions to complex problems. We are so grateful to the Santa Barbara Foundation for helping IVYP provide quality childcare to at-risk children in our county.”
Thanks to the work being done by these organizations, many families in need will now have access to quality child care. As these organizations continue to grow and increase their capacity, it is the hope of the Santa Barbara Foundation that every child in Santa Barbara County will have access to quality childcare and education. The generous support from our donors including, among others, the Cleo Purdy Fund and the Zurawski-Slaff Fund, make this vision possible.
To learn more about Early Care and Education community grant program, please contact Deanna Vallejo, Community Investments Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org.