For Immediate Release

January 30, 2020 – San Diego, CA – In response to recent study findings by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and San Diego Workforce Partnership regarding the challenges working parents face with early childhood care in our region, The San Diego Foundation today launched a pilot program to provide responsive grant funding to partner organizations increasing access to affordable child care, strengthening quality of life for local families and bolstering the regional economy.

The San Diego Foundation Early Childhood Initiative was founded on the belief that early childhood care and education is essential to the health, development and future success of San Diego children and the regional economy. Children who are provided with early education and development opportunities do better in school as they grow older and are more likely to attend college and be prepared for careers in the workforce.

According to a study by Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, more than 38 percent of San Diego children ages 3-5 are not enrolled in preschool or kindergarten and 9,600 children are on a waitlist for subsidized care. The San Diego Workforce Partnership study revealed that child care options are scare, inconvenient, unaffordable and of varying quality in the San Diego region. As a result, many parents are forced to leave their jobs, never enter the workforce or struggle to balance a career and raising a child.

“San Diego County is currently facing an early childhood challenge – the number of families and children that need quality care far outweighs the amount of child care options available,” explained Katie Rast, Director of Community Impact at The San Diego Foundation. “In order to quickly respond to this need, The Foundation will immediately invest in our families and communities through grantmaking to help increase access to affordable child care and provide relief to working parents.”

To be considered for the responsive grants, nonprofits proposing projects must work to expand care for low-to-moderate income communities and/or populations experiencing health disparities or negative social determinants of health, and complete work within a 12-month timeline. The San Diego Foundation will accept requests up to $25,000.

The Early Childhood Education Initiative is supported by the Guy Clum Early Childhood Education and Development Fund at The San Diego Foundation and builds upon a regional vision that supports both immediate impact initiatives and systems-level change in early education.

For more information about the Early Childhood Initiative, or to apply for one of the available grants, visit The deadline to apply is March 16 at 5:00pm.