We Must Choose Children

San Mateo and Santa Clara counties need solutions to support the well-being, care, and learning of babies, toddlers and young children — and of the caring adults in their lives — to create a region where children can live and thrive.

a toddler aged girl making finger paint art with an adult woman behind her helping the girl to paint

About Choose Children

Choose Children is a partnership of organizations and individuals committed to creating a future in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties where families with children can live and thrive.

We work to champion babies, toddlers, and preschoolers and ensure that elected officials and candidates for office take action and support investment and approaches that advance the well- being, care, and learning of young children, their families, and the essential workers who care for them.

Choose Children is an initiative of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Why Choose Children

Our kids need us – and we have a responsibility to ensure that young children begin their lives healthy, safe, and ready to succeed in school and life.

And, we need our kids even more. The economic vibrancy of our region relies on making it a place where families with young children can live and thrive.

Yet we are losing families with young children at alarming rates: San Mateo and Santa Clara counties lost 10% of children from birth to age 5 over the last decade, even while the total population grew. The pandemic only worsened this trend.

Quality child care is hard to find and second to only housing in many Bay Area family budgets, costing as much as twice in-state UC tuition.

Access to safe, high quality child care is a workforce imperative: parents – particularly, mothers – can’t work without it.

Investing in babies, toddlers, and young children makes economic sense. The multigenerational impacts of high-quality early learning and care is $14 of benefit for every $1 invested.

  • Babies and young children supported with the resources they need to thrive have better educational and economic outcomes – and pass those advantages on to their children.
  • Students who are at grade level in third grade are likely to stay on track to graduate. Students who are not are unlikely to catch up.
  • 85-90% of a child’s brain is formed before they start school.

Investments in early learning care leads to three lasting impacts

Supporting children icon

Advancing Children

Giving our youngest learners the start they need to learn, grow, and develop – and setting them up for academic and economic success.

Supporting caregivers icon

Supporting Caregivers

Supporting economic mobility for those within the early learning workforce (and their children and families) and developing a pipeline of essential workers.

Supporting local economies icon

Supporting Local Economies

Bolstering economic and community development by supporting employed parents and by seeding the next generation of workforce talent.

Choose Children Partner Organizations

All Choose Children Partner Organizations have taken the CHOOSE CHILDREN PARTNERSHIP PLEDGE that captures our shared beliefs and commitment.

All Five logo
Build Up CA
Build Up San Mateo County
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
Chamber San Mateo County logo
Childcare Coordinating Council of San Mateo Inc.
Children Now
Community Equity Collaborative
Congregation Beth Am
First 5 Santa Clara County
First 5 San Mateo County logo
Footsteps Child Care Inc. logo
Good 2 Know Partners
Healthier Kids Foundation
Kids in Common logo
Low Income Investment Fund
Parents Helping Parents
Peninsula Family Service
San Mateo County Child Care Partnership
Santa Clara County Office of Education
SAMCEDA - San Mateo County Economic Development Association
San Mateo County Office of Education
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
SOMOS Wayfair logo
Strong Start
Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits
The Primary School logo
Thrive, The Alliance for Nonprofits for San Mateo County