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Early Childhood

For the past two decades, a growing body of research confirms that children’s first years of life are critical to their academic success and overall well-being in later years. Best practice interventions support and strengthen children’s early cognitive, social, and emotional development; providing these opportunities to historically underserved populations can help mitigate early disparities.

PCL’s goal in the early childhood program area is to support children’s early development and kindergarten readiness. Drawing on community recommendations, local data and research, PCL adopted the following programmatic strategies to work toward this goal:

  1. Provide affordable, high quality preschool- programs with small adult: child ratios and focused on quality standards. 
  2. Enhance parent/family support of child development and nurturing. 
  3. Support families, childcare providers, and teachers with guiding child behavior. 

View the list of current grants.

PCL publishes annual performance reports on funded programs each year.

The Community Childcare Initiative

In 2015, PCL’s Allocation Committee invested unanticipated additional revenue into re-starting a childcare affordability effort, the Community Childcare Initiative. Currently, CCI makes a positive impact for more than 300 Portland children, their families, and their childcare providers, as illustrated by a recent report summarizing its performance. PCL originally created and funded the highly successful CCI during 2007-2012. External evaluation demonstrated its effectiveness in improving access to stable, quality childcare for children from working families with low incomes. Funding for CCI was cut during 2012-2014 when Levy revenues declined in an economic recession.