Early childhood philanthropy at the Foundation
Through the Santa Fe Baby Fund, Santa Fe Community Foundation seeks to promote the healthy development of babies and toddlers in Santa Fe and to raise awareness about the critical importance of investing in the early years of life. A belief that the vitality of any society rests on the opportunities afforded to all children early in life inspired the creation of the Baby Fund, with an initial $1.1 million gift from Brindle Foundation, a private family foundation based in Santa Fe. The future prosperity of Santa Fe depends on its ability to produce strong, healthy children who will lead our community. With the Baby Fund, the Santa Fe Community Foundation and Brindle Foundation hope to give the issues affecting infants a louder voice.
Early childhood funding priorities
The Baby Fund has established five priority areas for making grants:
Supporting the most vulnerable and underserved parents, grandparents, or other non-parent kin raising infants and toddlers.
Increasing access to high quality, affordable infant and toddler care and early education.
Supporting the early childhood teachers and workforce.
Improving access for all adolescents and young adults seeking reproductive health services in New Mexico.
Supporting family engagement programs that help build the health and financial literacy of the most vulnerable and underserved families raising infants, toddlers, and children.
Advocacy and movement-building work related to the above-listed priorities will also be considered. Distinct from SFCF’s community grants, Baby Fund applicants and grantees are invited to apply every year. Applications will also be accepted from organizations that have applied SFCF grant cycles this year.
The Santa Fe Baby Fund follows the same timeline as the SFCF fall community grant cycle, but has its own review process.
Baby Fund grant recipients
Baby Fund considers grants in the fall, corresponding to the Santa Fe Community Foundation’s respective competitive grant cycle.
SFCF provides grants to eligible applicants so long as funds are available, without regard to the race, creed, color, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, disability, country or place of origin, ethnicity, or citizenship status of the applicants.
A Critical Shortage:
Infant Care in Santa Fe
As a community, we lack enough high quality, licensed child care to serve all the infants in need. Although state and federal policymakers have shown increasing interest in early childhood education, this support is often directed to three-and four-year olds. With positive school readiness results, these investments make sense, particularly in New Mexico where reading, writing, math and graduation rates remain very low. Unfortunately, the sound logic behind this welcome commitment to early childhood education and improved school readiness has so far not extended to improving access to, and quality of, infant care. It is time to address this critical gap.
Making Noise for Babies
The Santa Fe Community Foundation's Baby Fund was built on the belief that the vitality of our community starts with supporting our youngest neighbors. In honor of its first decade, the fund made its largest round of grantmaking to date.