January 9, 2023 – San Diego, CA – San Diego Foundation and the Dr. Seuss Foundation announced today the availability of $1 million in grant funding for local nonprofits to increase access to quality, affordable early childhood education and developmental care.

“The San Diego Foundation Early Childhood Initiative partnership with the Dr. Seuss Foundation recognizes the connection between educational readiness and social determinants of health, such as whole family health, financial security and access to supportive services,” said Katie Rast, Director, Community Impact, San Diego Foundation. “The earliest years of life are a critical time for mental and behavioral development and can have an impact on educational readiness and opportunities for a lifetime.”

SDF and the Dr. Seuss Foundation are committing $1 million in total funding for the 2023 Early Childhood Initiative Equitable Opportunities Grant, including $500,000 in funding from the SDF Early Childhood Initiative and $500,000 of funding from the Dr. Seuss Foundation. This year’s grant builds on the 2022 Early Childhood Initiative Equitable Opportunities Grant launched in partnership with the Dr. Seuss Foundation, which awarded grants to 21 local nonprofits, and expanded to include a focus on early literacy.

“By continuing to work together to strengthen early literacy, we’re ensuring young children have strong learning foundations that will support them in their lifelong educational and career pursuits,” said Jay Hill, Executive Director, the Dr. Seuss Foundation.

The 2023 Early Childhood Initiative Equitable Opportunities Grants will support nonprofit organizations implementing strategic efforts to build the region’s resilience by increasing equitable access to educational opportunity and supportive services for young children and their caretakers. The 2023 Early Childhood Initiative Equitable Opportunities Grant will continue to support:

  • Early literacy and access to early education
  • Instructional quality improvements and educational staff support
  • Healthy, equitable starts for children and parents
  • Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) screening, prevention and intervention

The deadline for nonprofit organizations to apply is 2 p.m., Friday, Feb. 10. SDF will host an optional virtual Q&A webinar for prospective nonprofit applicants at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. Maximum awards are expected to range between $75,000 and $100,000.

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 the Dr. Seuss Foundation

The mission of the Dr. Seuss Foundation is to be a catalyst for improved literacy, broadly conceived, through strategic partnerships and investments. The Dr. Seuss Foundation envisions a world in which all people, animals and the environment are valued and thriving. The Dr. Seuss Foundation supports evidence-based programs which increase the number of children who enter school ready to learn and thrive, and who are proficient readers by the time they enter fourth grade. Learn more at www.DrSeussFoundation.org.

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 SDFoundation.org.


Lorena Nava Ruggero, San Diego Foundation, lruggero@sdfoundation.org, 619-814-1365