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Donor gives $13.8 million for San Diego early childhood education

September 11, 2018
Kristen Taketa
The San Diego Union Tribune

The San Diego Foundation has announced a $13.8 million donation to expand preschool in San Diego County.

The funding is meant to close gaps in access to preschool, which is often so expensive that middle- and lower-income families can’t enroll their children. Many studies have shown that quality early care and education can close achievement gaps, improve social-emotional behavior and generally lead to better life outcomes.

Yet about 39 percent of San Diego County children ages three to five were not enrolled in preschool or kindergarten from 2010 to 2014, according to

“We want to support the expansion of access to care that is not only high quality and addressing the needs of the children that they serve, but that is also accessible financially to families,” said Katie Rast, director of community impact for the San Diego Foundation.

The first $3.8 million of the donation will go to four local organizations. The foundation will decide after further research what to do with the other $10 million, Rast said.