First 5 San Mateo County has been a proud partner of Build Up since their start.
MENLO PARK, CALIF. (Oct. 26, 2023) — Build Up San Mateo County (SMC) and Build Up CA have today convened elected officials and early care and education leaders for a site tour of the newly renovated All Five child care facility in San Mateo County. This rehabilitation was made possible via critical funding from the California Department of Social Services’ Infrastructure Grant Program (IGP), with facilities fund management by the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF).
The $350.5 million IGP was devised and implemented in July 2021, during the throes of the pandemic. The State of California was cognizant of the enormous unmet need for early care and education, with many parts of the state considered child care deserts and a pandemic that heightened sector gaps. Grants were earmarked for minor construction, renovations and repairs to address health and safety concerns.
“As Build Up SMC’s honorary chair, I’m thrilled to see firsthand how state funds impact our local community. said California State Sen. Josh Becker (District 13). “Knowing a high-quality early education program like All Five school received state funding for much-needed improvements is where the rubber meets the road.”
“Seeing a high-quality, socioeconomically diverse early education program in our community receive funding for its facility demonstrates the positive impact public funding can have for children, families and teachers,” said Director Christine Padilla at Build Up SMC. “We are so fortunate to have elected officials in our county who really understand that child care is infrastructure.”
“We are spotlighting the critical importance of facilities investments to show exactly how sites are using their IGP money and how impactful the changes are to the early care and education providers and sites receiving the money.” said Vice President of Early Care and Education Angie Garling at LIIF. “Providers have expressed deep gratitude when they receive these funds. I’m glad we can provide this support because ECE is such a critical part of a thriving economy.”
All Five received $249,999 in IGP funding. This afforded the center the opportunity to scale their staff of 22 educators who collectively create a healthier, more efficient and more aesthetic learning environment for the children and families of historically excluded communities of eastern Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, Redwood City and environs. The team is reflective of the communities served with some staff teaching for over two decades. Notably, the grant funding allowed for expansion of facilities allowing the site to double enrollment to serve more children and their families.
All Five facility improvements expedited improved accessibility including new double-doors, deck, ramp, upgraded bathrooms and child-sized fixtures, as well as classroom upgrades including air purifiers, painting, electrical, plumbing, windows and fixed equipment including a washer/dryer, dishwasher, stove and kitchen upgrade.
“Due to IGP funding, we were able to complete our facilities’ projects, enabling us to markedly increase our area’s early childhood education and care capacity to support educational equity for our community’s children,” said Founder and Executive Director Carol Thomsen at All Five. “In addition to serving more children and their families, we are recruiting and retaining more highly effective educators to create a healthier, more efficient and more beautiful learning environment for children, regardless of their family’s income or in which ZIP code they live.”
All Five has been continuously accredited by the highly regarded National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) since 2019.
About Build Up CA
Build Up CA ensures the equitable system of expansion, improvement and preservation of early learning and care facilities throughout the state of California. The initiative promotes information sharing on early learning and care facilities issues, including technical assistance and capacity building, plus recommends legislation and regulations changes to increase access to high-quality ECE facilities. Additionally, Build Up develops and supports various financing strategies, initiatives and programs. Build Up CA is a statewide network inspired by and modeled after the work of local partner Build Up San Mateo County.
About All Five
All Five is a full-day, year-round early childhood education (ECE) program in eastern Menlo Park, California. It serves children from six weeks to five years old. The school is committed to providing high-quality ECE for all children, regardless of their family’s economic situation. All Five is the community’s only NAEYC accredited program serving children from families with low incomes. The school has grown from 24 spaces in 2021 to 60 spaces currently and expanding to 90 spaces over the next two years. All Five serves families with socioeconomically diverse backgrounds including 75% of its families with incomes near the poverty line, and 25% of its families having incomes sufficient to pay the full cost of their child’s tuition. All Five is committed to providing each family, no matter their background, with access to high-quality ECE for their children in a nurturing and respectful learning community.
About the Low Income Investment Fund
Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) is a national community development financial institution (CDFI), headquartered in San Francisco with offices in New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., that invests in communities of opportunity, equity and well-being. As a CDFI, LIIF supports projects that have high social value but lack access to traditional financial institutions. Since 1984, LIIF has deployed more than $3.2 billion to serve 2.5 million people in communities across the country from its five offices. An S&P-rated organization, LIIF funds healthy communities by providing innovative capital solutions. liifund.org