The Model Centers Initiative provides significant, multi-year support to six San Francisco organizations that serve low-income children by providing high-quality, culturally responsive, and developmentally appropriate early childhood education.
Child development centers that promote children’s intellectual and social development depend on the skills and expertise of the adults working in these centers. Since the beginning, the Fund has focused on teachers. The Fund supports programs to develop and deliver state of the art professional early childhood educator preparation, training, and coaching, as well as programs that provide stipends and educational pathways including attainment of Bachelor of Arts degree for early childhood teachers.
Grantees include San Francisco Unified School District and EDvance College.
Shared Services is a strategy to ease the administrative burden of child development centers so that staff can spend more time with children and families. The Fund’s focus in this area is to enable organizations to benefit from centralized administrative services such as enrollment, finance, and human resources or shared maintenance services. In 2015, the Fund seeded the first shared services alliance in the Bay Area and continues to support this effort.
Grantees include the San Francisco Early Learning Alliance and Compass’ Shared Maintenance Coordinator position.
Through the Scholarship Fund Program, enrolled families at select child development centers have access to tuition assistance to help pay for the cost of care. This is especially important in a high-cost region like San Francisco.
Grantees include the Model Center agencies and Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.
While the quality of teachers matters most, the environments children play and grow in also matter. In 1995, the Fund started a small grants program to improve the quality, safety, and environments of child care centers serving low-income children. Through the Program Materials and Equipment grants program, child development centers in San Francisco can apply for $3,000 or $5,000 grants to purchase books, arts, materials and play equipment – from wood blocks to water tables. These materials directly impact children’s emotional, social, cognitive, and physical learning experiences inside the classroom.
In 2021, the Fund awarded grants to 65 early care and education centers that served 2,086 children across San Francisco.
Grantees include Buen Dia Family School, Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center, Kai Ming Head Start, and Wu Yee Children’s Services.
Core Support of Key Early Childhood Education Agencies
Since the beginning, the Fund has supported organizations that provide high-quality technical assistance and programming to early childhood centers including the Model Centers, as well as key family support agencies in San Francisco. These organizations provide essential leadership and resources for children and families and help to make sure the most vulnerable young children and their families receive the support they need.
Grantees include Bay Area Discovery Museum and Safe & Sound.
Research demonstrates that young children’s ability to use language and understand the meaning of spoken and written words is related to later achievement in reading, writing, and spelling. Children who enter kindergarten with these skills have an advantage that carries with them throughout their school years. The Fund’s grantmaking in this area focuses on support for organizations that develop children’s reading and writing skills and instill a lifelong love of reading.
Grantees include Tandem: Partners in Early Learning and Jumpstart for Young Children.
The Fund’s grantmaking in this area focuses on creating a system for high-quality early childhood services that promote the healthy development of all Israeli children ages 0-3 from both Arab and Jewish backgrounds and helps provide comprehensive support for their families.
Grantees include Hagar Jewish Arab Education for Equality and the First Thousand Days program, developed in conjunction with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
For these are all our children. We will all profit by, or pay for, what they become.