Early Learning Initiative

$0m Investments
0 Children Served
0 Early Educators Served
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Comprehensive Health and Early Learning System
Prioritizing access to early learning and health systems through a Whole Child Approach will eliminate barriers and support the healthy development of children within the County. On March 28, 2017, Supervisor Ken Yeager introduced a legislative request seeking a report that considered the following possibilities:  (a) a pilot study involving a school site or school districts and other institutions with the goal of providing comprehensive health care, quality early learning, and quality child care from birth to age 8; and (b) an evaluation of the feasibility, costs, and actions needed to provide all County residents with universal access to comprehensive health care, quality early learning, and child care from birth to age 8.
Facilitated and key informant meetings led to a set of recommendations:
  • The implementation of a pilot study in Franklin McKinley and Alum Rock School Districts to demonstrate universal access to early care, education, health and social services;
  • The integration of County’s services into the district’s partnerships with the early childhood providers;
  • The creation of a Concierge Navigator service delivery model which includes a universal intake process and the expansion of the School Linked Services model to include early childhood;
  • Support of professional development to train more providers in family engagement strategies;
  • Further investigation of facilities investments upon the publication of the Countywide Facilities Study;
  • Support the creation of a local funding source to support true universal access.

SEEDS of Learning

SEEDS of Learning is a nationally recognized professional development program for parents and educators of young children. The program is designed to help the children in their care develop the early literacy skills and the social/emotional foundation they need to be ready for kindergarten.


The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will invest $100,000 in FY 17-18 to expand upon the success of FY 16-17 myTeachstone pilot by providing an additional 100 subscriptions to Family Child Care Home Providers.

Raising a Reader

In partnership with Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), FIRST 5 serves as a Raising A Reader (RAR) affiliate and a unifying leader for 18 other RAR affiliates in an effort to expand and coordinate the program throughout Santa Clara County for FY 16–19.

Pacific Oaks Master’s Degree Cohort

In an effort to help build quality early learning opportunities for children, FIRST 5 has partnered with Pacific Oaks College to offer a Master’s Degree Program in Human Development with a concentration in Leadership in Education & Human Services for up to 15 early educators employed at childcare sites participating in Santa Clara County’s QUALITY MATTERS. These students will work with WestEd and FIRST 5 to support the communities of practice (COP) with QUALITY MATTERS center-based sites/Family Child Care Home (FCCH) Providers to share best practice and strategies through peer to peer learning, site mentoring, expert presentations, and facilitated discussions. During these meetings sites will reflect upon and update goals in the element being discussed. Each meeting will focus on a specific elements from the Quality Continuum Framework (Rating Matrix) and will support Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) development and implementation.

Santa Clara County Office of Education – Inclusion Collaborative

In an effort to ensure quality, inclusive early learning practices for children with special needs, FIRST 5 has partnered with the Santa Clara County Office of Education – Inclusion Collaborative to measure the quality of inclusion using the Inclusive Classroom Profile (ICP) for rated QUALITY MATTERS sites. The SCCOE Inclusion Collaborative will create a collaborative dedicated to inclusion and train individuals to be certified in the ICP tool. Afterwards, certified observers will conduct pre-post ICP classroom observations to help classrooms understand their inclusive practices. An evaluation report will summarize findings based on ICP observation results. Classrooms with ICP results will create an action plan to be included in their quality improvement plan in the ongoing quality improvement efforts.


Located on the campus of Santee Elementary in San Jose’s Franklin-McKinley School District, Educare of California at Silicon Valley (ECSV) is a high-quality early learning center where infants, toddlers, and preschoolers growing up in families facing the toughest odds can prepare to start kindergarten engaged, healthy, eager to learn, and ready to succeed. FIRST 5 Santa Clara County has been proud to stand with our partners to bring Educare to our community. FIRST 5 is part of a robust public-private partnership which has collectively raised more than $13 million for ECSV’s capital campaign.

The 28,000-square-foot ECSV facility houses 12 state-of-the-art early learning classrooms and multiple indoor and outdoor learning spaces that meet the developmental needs of children.  These classrooms provide direct services to nearly 170 low-income children and their families, and an on-site family resource center will provide additional support for families and the community.