David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Private Foundation PR Transforms Public Conversation Around Universal Preschool

Our Client’s Opportunity

For over 20 years, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation has sought to improve early learning experiences for California children from birth through age five. Their goal is to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of economic background.

Beginning in 2003, the Packard Foundation engaged Full Court Press Communications in private foundation public relations to provide communications planning support and media relations to promote voluntary, universal preschool education in California.

The Solutions We Offered

FCP understood that in order to increase support for preschool education, Packard grantees needed to communicate more effectively about the importance and impact of preschool education.

The Results We Delivered

Grantees needed more than a moral obligation to help children. They also needed to explain why preschool education made economic sense. After all, providing preschool to all of California’s children is a large investment — but it would yield big returns. FCP crafted a communications plan that included all grantees and helped:

  • Release four RAND reports on the economics of investing in universal preschool
  • Ensure economic payback numbers ($2.62 return for every dollar invested) were prominent in the statewide conversation
  • Create a first-of-its-kind conference at UC Berkeley for national and state education reporters
  • Demonstrate the crucial link between preschool enrollment and lifelong success

Thanks to focused and consistent messaging, grantees transformed the conversation about universal preschool. Opinion leaders and Californians started to view  universal preschool not as a costly burden, but as a necessary investment. Additionally, grantees increasingly became trusted voices for educating civic and community leaders on the value of investing in children.

Private Foundation PR Wins

In July 2022, the Transitional Kindergarten education funding bill was signed into law, officially introducing universal preschool to California! The plan will gradually be phased in until full implementation in 2025.


Is your foundation looking to communicate more effectively? Contact our public relations specialists today!

Let’s Talk About How We Can Help You

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