Center for Early Learning

The Center for Early Learning at Silicon Valley Community Foundation has worked to make high-quality early learning a priority since 2014.

The Center conducts research, convenes community leaders and advocates for change to ensure that young children have access to early learning opportunities and develop in healthy ways. The Center's work is focused in these main areas:

Strategic initiatives

The Big Lift is a collective impact collaborative led by the three agencies – the Center for Early Learning, the San Mateo County Office of Education and the County of San Mateo – that are partnering with dozens of county leaders and community-based organizations to close the achievement gap and improve third-grade reading proficiency in San Mateo County. Contact Andrea Jones, initiative officer for The Big Lift, for more information.

Raising A Reader is a nationally recognized early literacy program that builds young children’s language and early literacy skills by encouraging parents to read with them. The Center provides Raising A Reader to over 300 classrooms and 6,000 children annually in San Mateo County.

Early Learning Leadership Academy helps principals, administrators and educators develop the skills and tools to support PreK-3 communities. To participate in the 2017-18 Academy, please register by Friday, Sept. 22. The first of three sessions is on Friday, Sept. 29. The $350 participation fee is waived for participants from select districts in San Mateo County. Contact Christine Thorsteinson, PreK-3 program and research coordinator, for more information. 

Advocating for early learning

Choose Children 2018 initiative is aimed at ensuring California’s next governor is a champion for children and makes children a statewide priority. Research is clear that statewide investments in early childhood policies and programs can help stem poverty. However, California’s investments in early childhood policies and programs do not match the need. Contact Pete Weldy, external relations officer, for more information. 

Silicon Valley Children's Advocacy Network (SVCAN) is a broad-based coalition of advocates representing Silicon Valley business, faith-based, education, nonprofit, parent and local government organizations. Since 2015, SVCAN has regularly convened to amplify the region’s collective voice in Sacramento and address some of the greatest challenges facing California’s children and families.

Convenings and collaboration

Raising of Silicon Valley series: The Center for Early Learning engaged in a public education campaign that mirrored the national Raising of America campaign. The purpose of the Raising of Silicon Valley series is to elevate critical issues that are impacting Silicon Valley parents of young children today. This campaign features a number of high-profile convenings focused on encouraging cross-sector dialogue on timely issues such as paid family leave, early learning technology and universal access to child care.


The Center for Early Learning: A Program of Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Connecting Home and the Pediatrician’s Office to Achieve School Readiness in Silicon Valley

Living and Learning Well in a Digital World

The Center for Early Learning: A Program of Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Our Vision: a community where all children have the foundation to flourish.

Connecting Home and the Pediatrician’s Office to Achieve School Readiness in Silicon Valley

Pediatricians are families’ most trusted source for support. Pediatricians and researchers from the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford School of Medicine have increasingly recognized the importance of promoting school readiness among all low income patients.

Living and Learning Well in a Digital World

In this rapidly changing world of technology, we understand the struggle between embracing the promise of a digital world and knowing how and when to use technology in a developmentally appropriate way with young children. Learn more 

Parent Story Project

Tech Report

Developmental Screening

Building Learning Communities

This guide is intended to help California educators identify strategies and resources to support the implementation of a PreK–3 approach.

Early Childhood Technology Use Findings

Findings from a study on the use of technology with young children in Silicon Valley.

California Pediatrician Survey on Early Childhood Developmental Screening

The Center for Early Learning is gathering data on developmental screening efforts in Silicon Valley and will be using these findings for policy and advocacy efforts that lead to universal childhood developmental screenings.

Facilities Report

Kindergarten Readiness Guide

Measuring School Readiness

San Mateo County Child Care and Preschool Facilities Task Force Report

This task force recommends a unified and coordinated countywide effort be developed to focus solely on the development and sustainability of child care and preschool facilities in San Mateo County. Learn more 

Kindergarten Readiness Guide

This guide gives California families tools and tips to prepare their children for a successful launch into kindergarten. Read the full guide above or watch the video series.


Measuring Children's Readiness for School

View SVCF's publications archive for more