“When you’re someone who cares about making a difference in the world…you have literally hundreds of choices you could make…the return on invested dollars in [the] first five years [of childhood] is more than almost every other philanthropic endeavor.

— J.B. Pritzker, one of the country’s leading investors

The Challenge

We, the parents and teachers at DIG Childhood Center, were heartbroken when the Santa Monica/Westside YWCA, our home for the past 5 years, unexpectedly chose to shut down all existing programs — including our toddler program and cooperative preschool — to sell the property.

The community banded together to save our beloved school. As we searched for a new location, we secured a short-term lease, re-established our own non-profit, and became licensed as our own entity.

After investing hundreds of hours, we found a location that meets child care licensing requirements. But we need your help to raise the money to bring the space up to compliance and rebuild the heart of our school: our outdoor classroom.

Why Save DIG?

All the data points to how the current educational model in the US does not work and is failing our children (read about this at The Atlantic and The Washington Post). Since the school opened in 2011, we have implemented a more effective approach to early education, based in play.

We believe in spending time outside, rain or shine, and connecting with plants and trees, dirt and water, stones and wood. Our program is child-directed and focuses on each individual’s social and emotional well-being. We provide this support via our unique outdoor classroom, our free-flowing space, and our low teacher to student ratio.

We are the only school in the area that focuses on all of these areas at once:

  • Non-judgmental approach
  • Child-led play
  • Social and emotional support and development
  • Family cooperative environment
  • Low 1:4 teacher to student ratio
  • Outdoor classroom
  • Active toddler drop-off program preparing little ones to transition and thrive in school  

Why DIG Works

“The first five years have so much to do with how the next 80 will turn out.”

— Bill Gates Sr., Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

At DIG, we see the whole child. Rather than judging good and bad behavior, we model tools to help the children navigate the waves of life. We are helping create a world of self-reliant, mindful, compassionate community builders — young people who are instilled with non-violent conflict resolution skills, and resilience. These positive attributes are essential for success in elementary school and beyond, as our children grow to be emotionally intelligent adults who contribute to society and their local communities.

Download our Deck to see how your donation makes a difference to our community! And then share it with your network.

DIG Childhood Center Pitch Deck

Where You Come In

We need your help! Without your support we will not be able to continue. Closing our doors for good would mean leaving almost 50 families without a place to send their children to school. Most importantly, we would be losing an incredible resource that has transformed the lives of hundreds of families, and impacted our larger community.

Every penny of your donation will help create our new school and preserve this ground-breaking curriculum. Your funds will not be used for operating costs. Your tax-deductible gift will create a lasting community resource for years to come.

Leave Your Legacy

We have a limited number of naming opportunities. Reach out to learn how you can create a legacy for yourself, your children, or in memory of a loved one.

  • $10,000 – Your name on the Tinkering Station
  • $50,000 – Your name on the Pillow Room
  • $75,000 – Your name on the Indoor Classroom
  • $75,000 – Your name on the Outdoor Classroom
  • $2,500 Founding Family
  • $500 Supporter
  • $250 Friend

The Budget

Each dollar of your contribution will be used to create a thoughtful, intentional, and active indoor/outdoor space to help our children thrive and become involved citizens of the world. Learn exactly how your contribution will be utilized.

Thank you

We are grateful and delighted you’ve taken the time to learn more about our school, vision and dedication to making the world a better place for everyone — one child at a time.

You may also mail a check to:
DIG Childhood Center
c/o Capital Campaign
11700 National Blvd. L-104
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Dig Childhood Center (License #197493069, State of California, Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division) is owned and operated by Venice Parents Daycare & Preschool, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Tax ID: 95‐4587330.