With bold and innovative action at the regional level, 2018 presents an exciting opportunity to break the “start behind, stay behind” pattern of educational inequity facing children in underserved communities and children of color. As part of the effort to change the trajectory of inequity, we created the Early Childhood Progress Fund – which leverages resources to expand access to high quality early childcare and education, as well as amplifies the voice and leadership of communities often shut out from these critical resources.
The Fund supports community-driven efforts to direct public resources to early education. To date, we have raised over $1 million for the Early Childhood Progress Fund and have made over $900K in grants to community organizations who are leading efforts around participatory research, policy formation, and campaign strategy.
Currently, we are generating support for Measure A, the Alameda County Early Care and Education Initiative that will appear on June 2018 ballot. Measure A will enact a half-cent sales tax that raises $140 million annually to create thousands of new child care and early education scholarships, improve and sustain the quality of children’s care and early learning experiences, as well as increase wages for child care providers and early educators to at least $15 per hour. Measure A is the fruit of dynamic collaboration across county government, childcare providers, and EBCF-supported community-based organizations across Alameda County including Parent Voices Oakland, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), and Oakland Rising.
Continuing community education efforts around early care, we recently hosted a dialogue with donors and Early Childhood experts to more deeply understand the critical need for early care and education. We welcomed Ajay Chaudry, author of Cradle to Kindergarten: A New Plan to Combat Inequality; Angie Garling, Early Care and Education Program Manager for Alameda County; and Clarissa Doutherd, Executive Director of Parent Voices Oakland, to share their insight and inspire us to collective action. Our goal was to ensure that every attendee was equipped with new information to share and actions they could take to impact the educational opportunities of children in the East Bay.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see more of our efforts through the Early Childhood Progress Fund. If you would like more information about the Early Childhood Progress Fund, please contact Amy Fitzgerald, Senior Program Officer at EBCF at 510-459-4130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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