All kids enter Kindergarten to ready to learn.
This is the guiding goal behind SVP’s early childhood development grantmaking. The first five years of a child’s life are the most important for healthy development. Children gather the building blocks for school readiness long before they enter a kindergarten classroom, and these years establish the foundation that children will live with for the rest of their lives.
With 85 percent of the human brain developing during the first three years of life, this crucial time period is when young children form the “wiring” needed to think, communicate, move and form attachments with those around them. Children need nurturing care, sound nutrition, appropriate learning and developmental opportunities, and the support of caring adults. In addition, parents or caregivers need support and training to more effectively carry out their role.
SVP seeks to support organizations that meet the following three criteria:
- Have a clear vision and need for an SVP capacity building partnership over multiple years.
- See their organization and their work as part of the larger system that is working to support all students – from cradle to career.
- Provide support/programs to families facing the greatest challenges due to income disparities, cultural and language barriers, or other circumstances that lead to inequities in our community and invite families impacted by these disparities to engage in leadership roles and decision making.
SVP is interested in supporting efforts working towards an increase in the following community wide indicators (as tracked by organizations such as the Road Map Project and Eastside Pathways):
- % of children born weighing more than 5.5 pounds
- % of eligible children enrolled in select formal early learning programs
- % of licensed child care centers meeting quality criteria
- % of families reading to their children daily
- % of children meeting age-level expectations at the end of pre-school
SVP focuses on organizations that address one or more of the above indicators through their programs and exhibit at least some of the following components:
- Provide evidence based and/or promising practice early learning programs that promote quality child care – this includes the range of evidence based programs from formal (ex. Head Start, Parent Child Home Program, etc.) to informal care (ex. Friend, Family and Neighbor care, etc.).
- Provide professional development, training, and support to parents, caregivers, and/or teachers
- Offer programs that are family or relationship based and are culturally, language, and age appropriate
- Provides for the healthy development of the whole child (physical, social, emotional & mental health)