March 30, 2023 – San Diego, CA – San Diego Foundation announced today that it has committed $500,000 in grant funding to 10 local nonprofit organizations to improve access to quality care, including child care, mental and behavioral services, parent education and health care, for mothers, babies and young children.

“High-quality early education and care build resilient communities and provide critical support to San Diego families,” said Mark Stuart, President & CEO, San Diego Foundation. “Ensuring young children have opportunities to thrive and families have access to supportive services is crucial to their health, development and future.”

The Early Childhood Initiative Responsive grants engage regional partners to strengthen families, increase health equity, bolster the regional workforce and support economic growth. The grants provide flexible funding with a goal of supporting young children, ages 0 – 5, and their families with equitable access to quality, affordable early education and care. Grantees will receive a first-year grant of $25,000 in 2023, and an additional grant of $25,000 in 2024.

Each organization serves historically under-resourced communities and/or low-to-moderate-income families. These grants support programs that include a focus on expanding services that achieve birth equity, or provide optimal conditions for mothers during labor and delivery; provide evidence-based parent education programs; and strengthen maternal and child mental/behavioral health, including:

  • Foundation for Women Warriors supports female U.S. military veterans by providing childcare assistance vouchers so pregnant and parenting women veterans can attend medical and mental health appointments, and also pursue educational and employment goals.
  • Global Communities provides free prenatal and childbirth education, postpartum and breastfeeding support, with a focus on Black families and immigrants in San Diego County.
  • Home Start provides home-based parent education for pregnant women in East County, and center-, tele- and home-based mental health services across San Diego County for young children and their families who have been a victim of a crime or trauma.
  • Horn of Africa serves refugees families with young children by providing access to health insurance, culturally competent prenatal and health care, child development instruction, childcare and early childhood education.
  • Indian Health Council Inc. and itstribal family services restore cultural family life skills by enhancing parenting skills and case management to connect North San Diego County Native families to indigenous lactation consultation.
  • Miracle Babies perinatal mental wellness programs support group and individual therapy, support, and treatment to perinatal mothers identified or at risk of having a maternal mental health disorder.
  • Neighborhood House Association and its black infant health programs serve pregnant and postpartum Black or African American women, working to improve infant and maternal health, and decrease social inequities for Black women and infants.
  • Somali Family Services of San Diego supports multicultural refugee and immigrant families providing access to early childhood education, prenatal and postpartum care, and parenting education to foster skills for healthy child development, and service navigation through a culturally sensitive and linguistically informed lens.
  • Southern Indian Health Council Inc. provides outpatient youth behavioral health services to young children and their families and will launch new parent groups with a focus on supporting prenatal and postpartum families, and strengthening parent/child attachment for children ages 0 – 5.
  • United Women of East Africa supports East African refugee mothers who are pregnant and/or parenting young children with social support and an evidence-based parenting curriculum through a cooking circle service delivery model.

These grants were made in response to new government data about the negative effects of the pandemic on both mothers and infants across the country, including widening disparities for Black and Native American mothers and babies. These outcomes reflect data both at the national level, including the 2022 White House “Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis,” and local data reported by the County of San Diego Black Infant Health Program and San Diego’s Perinatal Equity Initiative.

The SDF Early Childhood Initiative builds upon a regional vision that supports both immediate impact initiatives and systems-level change in early education and care. Since 2018, the SDF Early Childhood Initiative has impacted the lives of more than 19,000 young children, ages 0 – 5, by awarding more than $8 million to uplift children, families and childcare providers by providing over 100 grants to 40-plus community-based organizations in San Diego County.

About San Diego Foundation

San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve the quality of life in our region. Our strategic priorities include advancing racial and social justice, fostering equity of opportunity, building resilient communities, and delivering world-class philanthropy to realize our vision of just, equitable and resilient communities. The Early Childhood Initiative supports families with young children, ages 0 – 5, throughout San Diego County by expanding equitable access to high-quality, affordable early education and care. For more than 47 years, SDF and its donors have granted more than $1.4 billion to support nonprofit organizations strengthening our community. Learn more at


Lorena Nava Ruggero, San Diego Foundation,, 619-814-1365

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