Since the year 2000, the Orfalea Foundation has been committed to improving the life outcomes for young children through high quality early education. In Santa Barbara County, there are more than 170 early education centers in which thousands of young children spend 6-12 hours a day. These centers hold a key to the healthy development of our children.
The Orfalea Foundation aims to support children’s success in school and in life through an integrated strategy to invest in the following components of quality children’s centers:
- Teacher education, inspiration, and camaraderie
- Environments, including outdoor classrooms
- Practices, including food and activity
- We believe that our country’s “achievement gap” among school-age children is caused by a pre-Kindergarten “readiness gap” that results when young children lack access to quality early education and whole-child parenting.
- We believe every child deserves the opportunity to receive high quality early education.
- We believe stewards of young children deserve support and education for continuous improvement.
- We believe young children need a great deal of time outdoors to develop physical and mental skills.
- We believe ECE centers and providers should understand and provide healthful food and physical activity practices.