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New Initiative Seeks to Center Expertise of Early Learning Practitioners in California

Practitioners’ Voice California logo

The Heising-Simons Foundation is pleased to support the Tides Foundation’s new grantmaking effort seeking to center the expertise of early learning practitioners in the policy process in California. This new effort is also supported by Tipping Point Community, Blue Shield of California Foundation, and California Community Foundation.

The initiative, Practitioners’ Voice California (PVCA), recognizes California’s children develop optimally when they receive quality early learning experiences and interactions with well-compensated, well-prepared, well-supported, and experienced educators. Unfortunately, today’s reality is that early educators are undervalued, underpaid, and excluded from policy conversations in California which impact them. Resourcing practitioners to organize and engage in policy reforms at the local, regional, and statewide levels is a key role for philanthropy.

We believe practitioners are experts and that policies should be designed with them, not for them. To “flip the script,” PVCA has designed a grant program offering two-year, flexible funding to nonprofit organizations and informal groups that are practitioner-led and focused on improving working conditions for early learning practitioners.

In this context, “practitioners” include anyone caring for children in a paid capacity in California, such as family, friend, and neighbor providers; family child care owners; and/or teaching staff in family child care, community and school settings. “Practitioners” may also include a professional association or union comprised of practitioners and/or college faculty focused on preparing practitioners.

To learn more about the initiative, including priorities for selection and the application process, please visit PVCA’s application page. The deadline to submit an interest form is September 6, 2022. If you have any questions or concerns, please email the PVCA support team at [email protected].