Early Care and Education

Positively influencing outcomes

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The Family Room at Yoncalla Elementary School Photo: Adam Wickham

One of the three focus areas of the Early Childhood Development program aims to increase access to high-quality early care and education. There are two primary areas of work: prenatal-3rd grade (P3) alignment and workforce development.

The P3 work to-date is focused on the demonstration site called Yoncalla Early Works. In the future, we will take the lessons learned from Yoncalla Early Works and expand the program to include other communities that are ready and committed to building bridges between the early years and the early grades.

In addition to P3, we recognize that a high-quality early childhood workforce is essential to rural early care and education settings. Our initial area of workforce development is around early mathematics. In the future, workforce-development investments may expand to include: early language and literacy, self-regulation/executive function, and social-emotional development.

 access, quality, alignment

Early Learning Community Coalitions

In  partnership with Children’s Institute and Yoncalla Elementary School, the Foundation has launched an effort to connect, align and strengthen early childhood programs and services in Yoncalla with the local elementary school acting as a hub or catalyst. Similar alignment efforts, often referred to as P-3 (Preschool-to-3rd-Grade, or more recently Prenatal-to-3rd-Grade), have been taking place around the United States and are gaining momentum in Oregon. 

The Yoncalla Early Works demonstration site has elements of comparable, nationally recognized projects and is tightly linked with the Children’s Institute and the demonstration site at Early Boyles Elementary school in Southeast Portland. The latter, an urban research-to-practice project, is a place-based project aiming to improve children’s developmental outcomes and school-readiness while influencing state policy and practice. Yoncalla Elementary School is the rural counterpart to the urban site. The opportunity for Yoncalla to join as an Early Works site is due to the committed leaders in that community. The Yoncalla Elementary school principal, teachers, board members and other community members are motivated to help get all children in the community ready for kindergarten. 

For links to additional information, see "Resources" at the bottom of this page.


Access to high-quality early care and education is one research- and evidence-based approach to positively impact outcomes for young children. Effective professional development is a critical, well-recognized way to increase the quality of early childhood environments and, more importantly, the quality of interactions between caregivers and children. We are particularly interested in professional development efforts that show impact on school readiness domains, including Language and Literacy, Social/Emotional Development, Executive Function, and Early Mathematics.

We have started our work in this arena with a focus on early childhood mathematics. Two projects include the funding of a standardized early math curriculum “All 4 Math” offered through the Oregon Center for Career Development in Childhood Care and Education. In addition, College of the Siskiyous and early childhood partners throughout the county have begun an early math awareness raising campaign called The Abacus Project

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