SDF: Early Childhood Initiative 2021 Responsive Grant

The San Diego Foundation

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Predicted Deadline
The next cycle for this opportunity is predicted based on past data. If you save this grant, we’ll notify you if there are any changes.

Predicted deadline: Apr 23, 2022 5:00pm PDT

Grant amount: Up to US $25,000

Fields of work: Children’s Mental Health Child Abuse & Neglect Early Childhood Development Children’s Health & Pediatrics

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: San Diego County, California

Location of residency: San Diego County, California

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About this funder:



About the Early Childhood Initiative

The San Diego Foundation is committed to creating a thriving region. Understanding that early childhood care is essential to supporting families and ensuring long-term success for children, the Early Childhood Initiative (ECI) strives to increase access to quality, affordable early childhood education and developmental care in San Diego County. The Early Childhood Initiative works collaboratively with regional partners to:

  • Strengthen families
  • Reduce inequality, break the cycle of poverty
  • Bolster the regional workforce
  • Support economic growth

The Funding Opportunity

The San Diego Foundation has $250,000 in total funding available for the Early Childhood Initiative 2021 Responsive Grant. Organizations may request a maximum of $25,000 each in funding support.


The 2021 ECI Responsive Grant aims to support nonprofit organizations addressing emerging needs in the San Diego region. According to the December 2020 report Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and Health, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma represent an urgent public health crisis with wide-reaching health and societal impacts. Informed by this report, as well as by regional data and local stakeholders, this important issue is recognized as one that is impacting many children, families, and service providers that deliver care in San Diego County. Ensuring young children have opportunities to thrive, and families have access to supportive services is crucial to nurturing early childhood development and care. For this reason, the 2021 ECI Responsive Grant will focus on supporting the following strategies: abuse prevention; mental and behavioral health support and early intervention; and health equity.


The following are strategies that support the goal of the ECI grant that will be eligible for funding for the 2021 grant cycle. Organizations will be asked to identify the primary strategy they plan to employ in their application. All applicants are encouraged to address service and support for low-to-moderate income families, and communities experiencing negative social determinants of health.

  • Abuse Prevention: Strengthen and expand access to prevention, intervention and recovery services for children ages 0-5 and their families, including family strengthening efforts that expand abuse prevention and related services.
  • Mental/Behavioral Health & Early Intervention: Strengthen and expand access to mental and behavioral health services for children ages 0-5 and their families as part of an effort to increase intervention and developmental support for children and parents, and decrease and mitigate trauma.
  • Health Equity: Respond to the needs of children ages 0-5 and their families experiencing negative social determinants of health, historic inequities and/or racial bias. These strategies should include access to critical resources and must also identify plans to connect children and families to care for children 0-5 and related services.


  • Articulate a strategy for project success
  • Show potential for measurable impact
  • Exhibit organizational strength, past performance and strong community partnerships
  • Demonstrate ability to connect authentically with the community served
  • Leverage funds from other partners

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Each proposal must be led by a nonprofit with 501(c)(3) public charity status, located in and serving San Diego County.
    • A 501(c)(3) public charity may serve as a fiscal sponsor for another applicant to administer the grant and provide regular financial reporting to The San Diego Foundation.
  • Projects must be completed within a 12-month timeline.
  • Previous applicants or recipients of Early Childhood Initiative funding are eligible to apply.
  • Projects must work to expand care for low-to-moderate income communities and/or populations experiencing inequities or negative social determinants of health.
  • Projects will serve children from ages 0-5 and their families in the areas of: abuse prevention; mental/behavioral health and early intervention; and health equity.


  • The San Diego Foundation will not fund:
    • Endowments
    • Existing obligations/debt
    • Scholarships
    • Projects that promote religious or political doctrines


This page was last reviewed April 28, 2021 and last updated April 28, 2021