Opportunity Fund provided more than $14 million in New Markets Tax Credit funding to help construct Educare of California at Silicon Valley (“ECSV”), a school that will provide year-round early childhood education and care to children in San Jose’s Santee neighborhood. An estimated 168 students ranging in age from infancy to five years old will be served by the school each year, as well as parenting education for low-income families.
This is much more than a pre-school - it will be the premier early childhood training facility for teachers for the entire West Coast; a best practices teaching laboratory. There will also be a Family Resource Center offering health care, job training, counseling, and other services to low income community residents.
"Opportunity Fund is committed to building pathways to prosperity through education and entrepreneurship. We’re thrilled to help bring Educare to this neighborhood,” said Jeff Wells, Director of Opportunity Fund's New Markets Tax Credits program. “The young children at this facility will start an educational journey that will change the trajectory of their young lives. And the teachers trained here will have an impact on education across the nation.”
The 28,000 square foot, $14 million facility, which broke ground last month, will serve families as part of the Educare Learning Network, a nationwide early childhood education program that seeks to prevent a pre-kindergarten achievement gap among at-risk children who live in poverty. Upon completion in 2015, ECSV will be one of 21 Educare facilities across the country, and the first in California.
ECSV is a collaborative project among 16 public institutions and private groups, including FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, the Franklin-McKinley School District, East Side Union School District, the Santa Clara County Office of Education, the Health Trust, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
“The Santee neighborhood offers a strategic location for an Educare school,” said John Porter, chair of ECSV’s board of directors. “Its graduates will feed into a network of elementary and secondary schools whose common goal is to educate students that are college- and career-ready.”
The new facility also will be home to several community-based initiatives with impacts beyond early childhood education. The Family Resource Center, funded by FIRST 5 Santa Clara and operated by Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, will offer access to information on topics such as health and nutrition, children’s literacy, job training and parenting. Training for educators at ECSV and throughout Santa Clara County will be offered at an on-site Professional Development Institute, and a neighborhood playground and community garden also will be co-located on the new campus.
Opportunity Fund worked with U.S. Bank to provide the New Markets Tax Credit investments for this new facility as part of our ongoing work with U.S. Bank, which also includes U.S. Bank's investments in Opportunity Fund's microlending to small businesses throughout California.