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Among the Bay Area organizations benefiting from the federal budget signed this month by President Joe Biden is the San Jose Public Library, which stands to receive $1.5 million as part of the federal economic development initiative.
The library will use the money to boost the quality of its early learning programming and support the city’s most at-risk children, ages 5 and under, and their families.
The city says it will do so by providing vital workforce development for early learning providers who render critical support and education to families at low to no cost.
The library will also aim to reduce San Jose’s digital divide by targeting historically underserved families with children 5 and under by providing digital devices and resources and ensure the availability of flexible, high quality, free virtual early learning programs promoting school readiness.
The project will provide professional training for Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) caregivers of children under 5. In California, 80 percent of children 2 and under, and 40 percent of children 5 and under, are cared for by FFNs.
The library’s current caregiver support network provides 106 FFN caregivers access to workforce development training in child development.
“Representatives Anna Eshoo and Ro Khanna’s advocacy of $1.5 million in federal investment in our libraries’ Family, Friends, and Neighbor Caregiver Network will enable us to scale this vitally important program for working families,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, in a statement. “It will ensure quality workforce development for over a hundred caregivers and provides a crucial service for parents and our youngest San Joseans.”