Center for Early Learning to co-host events focused on preschool availability, family-friendly workplace policies

This fall SVCF’s Center for Early Learning (CEL) will host The Raising of Silicon Valley – a two-part event to raise awareness and build a cadre of local champions around two critical needs – high-quality preschool and family-friendly workplaces.

High-Quality Preschool: For decades, researchers have identified high-quality preschool as the intervention that is the most successful in ensuring that children are ready for school. The positive impacts are unequivocal. In Santa Clara County, 4,000 low-income four-year-olds qualify for subsidized preschool, but lack of state and federal funding precludes them from attending. These children will start school already behind their classmates, and this achievement gap will persist through their school years. Relying on federal and state investments has proven to be an unstable and unviable solution.  

The Raising of Silicon Valley series kicks off on September 30 with an event co-hosted by the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Clara County Office of Education. Together we will discuss our local preschool gaps and challenges and identify collective, local solutions to address them. For more information, contact cel@siliconvalleycf.org

Family-Friendly Workplaces:  In 2014, CEL completed the Parent Story Project, a regional parent survey to understand what it is like to raise young children in Silicon Valley. This project highlighted the fact that there is still an unmet need for family support in Silicon Valley. For example, 38 percent of parents making less than $32,000 per year reported losing their job or being laid off due to their parental responsibilities and 36 percent of parents reported chronic sadness or depression that interfered with their daily lives. 

The United States is the only developed country that does not have a policy providing new parents with paid time off. Tech companies such as Facebook, Google, IBM, Netflix, Adobe, Microsoft and others are beginning to provide a variety of paid leave options, flexible work schedules and “baby cash” bonuses for many of their employees who are new parents. However, these benefits are not available to the vast majority of lower-wage, non-tech sector employees in Silicon Valley.

In December, CEL will co-host a convening with the U.S. Department of Labor and numerous Silicon Valley corporations to discuss the ties between parenting, the workforce and the economy. CEL will also highlight Silicon Valley businesses that invest in family-friendly workplace policies, such as paid family leave, and discuss a collective call to action. Our goal is that our call to action leads to more workplace policies that support employees who have newborns and young children.

For more information about this event, contact cel@siliconvalleycf.org