In 2014, the United Way and its partners conducted a County-wide needs assessment to determine the key issues that prevent residents from achieving prosperity. One of these barriers was access to quality and affordable child care. In Monterey County, there are 10,352 licensed child care slots for the 32,410 children 0-5 of working families. Recent national and local research has shown that Family, Friends, and Neighbors (FFN) child care providers, particularly in low-income communities, care for nearly 70 percent of children with working parents. The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment determined that only 25% of children County wide are kindergarten-ready. We know that 89% of children who ranked at the bottom 5% of the kindergarten readiness assessment are Hispanic/Latino. 70% of these children live below the Federal Poverty Level.
In a recent survey of Monterey County child care providers, 100% of respondents indicated that they were operating at full capacity and had waiting lists. Reasons cited included lack available of classrooms and lack of available workforce.
Our Early Care and Education Vision
Our goal is to double the percentage of children that are fully prepared for kindergarten from just 25% today to 50% by 2025.
40 children attended Summer Bridge to improve kindergarten readiness
40 additional child care slots through the Early Care and Education Grant
22 FFN providers received training
Our Early Care and Education Strategies
UWMC established an Early Care and Education Innovation Fund to support creative strategies that increase and/or maintain the number of licensed child care slots in the County. Learn more.
Emergency Early Care and Education Response
As part of the Bright Beginnings Early Childhood Development Initiative, we developed the first countywide emergency response plan for the early childhood development system. The goal of this initiative is to ensure that children of essential workers have quality, safe child care and education during the COVID-19 emergency measures. Learn more.
Summer Bridge is a 5-week program that builds language, literacy, social-emotional, cognitive, and physical development skills for children with no prior preschool experience.
Friends, Family, and Neighbors Child Care Providers (FFN)
UWMC is partnering with the City of Gonzales to inform FFN policies, strategies, and services. Our Gonzales partners are developing an FFN support network of licensed providers and early learning professionals to build the capacity of FFNs.