helping everyone learn & thrive.

Access to opportunities for learning and growth at all stages of life are key to our individual and collective wellbeing. Our work starts at the very beginning: ensuring that every child is ready for kindergarten. By focusing on our youngest, we are building a strong foundation for our community and our future.

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what we are doing.

The first five years of a child’s life are critical in developing the social, emotional, and intellectual skills needed for long-term success. Children who start kindergarten without these skills have a harder time catching up with other students as their academic careers move forward. In fact, students who are still lagging in reading by the 3rd grade can experience longer-term difficulties, which include being less likely to earn a post-secondary degree and having higher rates of unemployment and poverty.

Together, the City, SMMUSD, SMC, service providers, and concerned citizens are working together to specifically make sure every child in Santa Monica has the ability to succeed in school and beyond.

We are starting at the beginning and focusing on our youngest students.

Building Blocks for Kindergarten supports parents, educators, early childcare providers, and other Building Blocks partners as they work together to make sure all Santa Monica children start kindergarten ready to learn — both inside and outside the classroom.

We are looking at the bigger picture, from Cradle to Career.

Cradle to Career is a broader effort with citywide stakeholders that aims to support children at all stages, ensuring their life and learning environments are strong, safe, and supportive. With the help of data gathered from the Youth Wellbeing Report Card, we’re implementing programs that increase kindergarten readiness, strengthen youth connectedness, advocate for emotional health, engage vulnerable youth and their families in supportive services, and improve college and career readiness.


of children entering kindergarten in Santa Monica are considered "Not on Track"



of Santa Monica's population are under 5 years old approximately.


Want to understand the issue more?

what you can do.

connect to services.

If you are a family who could benefit from more programs that help all of you learn and thrive:

For a list of all relevant services, go to

download the resources.

Building Blocks for Kindergarten Toolkits


Are you the parent of a child getting ready for kindergarten?


Are you an educator or caregiver?

  • Download Building Blocks for Educators & Caregivers here.

  • Check out the Building Blocks presentation for preschools here.