San Diego Foundation offices
The San Diego Foundation offices in Liberty Station.

The San Diego Foundation is donating $500,000 in grant funding to 10 local, nonprofit groups to improve access to quality care, including child care, mental and behavioral services, according to a news release Friday.

The grants will go toward parent education, and health care for mothers, babies and young children, according to the foundation.

The Early Childhood Initiative Responsive grants “engage regional partners to strengthen families, increase health equity, bolster the regional workforce and support economic growth,” according to the foundation.

The organizations will receive a first-year grant of $25,000 this year, followed by an additional $25,000 in 2024.

“High-quality early education and care build resilient communities and provide critical support to San Diego families,” said Mark Stuart, president and CEO of the San Diego Foundation. “Ensuring young children have opportunities to thrive and families have access to supportive services is crucial to their health, development and future,” Stuart added.

Organizations receiving the grants are:

– Foundation for Women Warriors, which provides vouchers that allow pregnant and parenting female veterans to attend medical and mental health appointments, and also pursue educational and employment goals;

– Global Communities, which offers free prenatal and childbirth education, postpartum and breastfeeding support, focusing on Black families and immigrants in San Diego County;

– Home Start provides home-based parent education for pregnant women in East County, and mental health services across San Diego County for young children and their families who have been a victim of a crime or trauma;

– Horn of Africa, which serves refugee families with young children by providing access to health insurance, prenatal and health care, child- development instruction, childcare and early childhood education;

– Indian Health Council Inc., which focuses on connecting North County native families to indigenous lactation consultation;

– Miracle Babies, which offers wellness programs, a support group and individual therapy, and treatment to perinatal mothers with or at risk of having a maternal mental health disorder;

– Neighborhood House Association, serving pregnant and postpartum Black or African American women, working to improve infant and maternal health, and decrease social inequities;

– Somali Family Services of San Diego, supporting multicultural refugee and immigrant families providing access to early childhood education, prenatal and postpartum care, and parenting education to foster skills;

– Southern Indian Health Council Inc. providing outpatient youth behavioral health services to young children and their families, with a focus on supporting prenatal and postpartum families; and

– United Women of East Africa, which supports East African refugee mothers who are pregnant and/or parenting young children with social support and an evidence-based parenting curriculum.

According to the foundation, the grants are in response to new federal and local government data on the negative effects of the pandemic on both mothers and infants across the nation, including widening disparities for Black and native American mothers and babies.

Data sources are the White House’s “Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis,” and the San Diego County government’s Black Infant Health Program and  Perinatal Equity Initiative.

The 47-year-old San Diego Foundation focuses on community philanthropy.

–City News Service