Tides Foundation Awards Nearly $2 Million to Shift Power to Early Childhood Practitioners in California

SAN FRANCISCO – To improve early childhood systems and resource the leadership power of early childhood practitioners, Tides Foundation in partnership with a consortium of foundations has granted nearly $2 million to community-based organizations through the Practitioners’ Voice California fund.

The Practitioners’ Voice CA fund recognizes California’s children develop optimally when they receive quality early learning experiences and interactions with well-compensated, well-prepared, and well-supported experienced educators. At the end of the two-year initiative, supporters of the fund aim to strengthen the practitioner’s voice and power at every level of California’s early childhood system — in cities, counties, and at the state level — to achieve equitable pay and improved working conditions.

Childcare practitioners refer to anyone caring for children in a paid capacity in California including family, friend, and neighbor providers, family child care owners, or teaching staff in family child care, community, and school settings. In today’s landscape, early childhood practitioners are underpaid, undervalued, and often excluded from systems and policy discussions.

“Today, there are few grassroots educator groups and frontline practitioners at policy tables to inform policy reform and systems change, and yet early childhood providers are shouldering daunting challenges without adequate pay, health coverage, good working conditions, or appreciation for the vital role they play in educating our youngest learners,” said September Jarrett, program officer of the Education program at Heising-Simons Foundation. “This initiative recognizes that providers are best positioned to reimagine how early childhood systems can improve, so this funding is truly about centering their expertise.”

The collective fund is supported by Heising-Simons Foundation, Tipping Point Community, Blue Shield of California Foundation, California Community Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and the Stein Early Childhood Development Fund.

The following California-based organizations have been awarded two-year, flexible grants based on their direct work with practitioners that care for young children (0–5), as well as their demonstrated commitment to equity and understanding of historical and systemic barriers to opportunities:

  • Black Californians United for Early Care and Education
  • Bay Area Professional Child Care Network
  • California Family Child Care Network
  • California Domestic Workers Coalition
  • Early Edge California, a project of New Venture Fund
  • EveryChild California
  • First 5 Shasta
  • Orange County Child Care Association
  • PEACH Early Childhood Higher Education Collaborative
  • San Mateo County Family Child Care Organization
  • Unidos ECE

“We were honored to support the funders in developing an inclusive selection process that was rooted in participatory grantmaking,” said Anne Lentz, managing advisor of foundations at Tides Foundation. “To select grantees, we worked with an Independent Advisory Committee that included childcare practitioners, and we invited applicants to submit a video proposal to discuss how they organize and support early childhood practitioners. We were very intentional about making sure we worked with a diverse group of practitioners that truly understand the pay and working conditions of early childhood care providers.”

To learn more about the fund, visit www.tides.org.




About Tides Foundation
Tides is a philanthropic partner and nonprofit accelerator dedicated to building a world of shared prosperity and social justice. Tides works at the nexus of funders and changemakers, developing innovative solutions that enhance philanthropic giving and grantmaking, impact investing, fiscal sponsorship, collaborative workspaces, and policy initiatives. Applying our equity-centered lens, we work closely with our partners to shift power to BIPOC leaders, their organizations, and those who face systemic barriers to power.


Media contact: tides.org/media-relations