Recognizing the unique space that libraries create for young children ages 0-5 and their caregivers, San José Public Library (SJPL) has developed an innovative suite of programs — collectively referred to as “Wee Programs” — designed to stimulate, strengthen, and educate young minds, to help them reach their full potential, and to engage their caregivers in a welcoming environment to better support these curious young learners. Learn more on the SJPL website.

The Need

Children rapidly develop physically, cognitively, and emotionally, with 90% of their brain development occurring before the age of five. A child who enters Kindergarten developmentally behind their peers may never have the opportunity to fully catch up. High-quality early learning experiences are essential for Kindergarten preparation. The City of San José has nearly 20,000 children age birth to five who do not have access to early education, leading to 75% of San José being designated as a “Child Care Desert” by the Santa Clara County Office of Education. It is therefore essential that all children and their families have access to quality early learning experiences.

The Impact