Veteran Pre-K Program Prepares to Serve More Infants and Toddlers with Early Head Start Expansion Grant

The Institute for Human and Social Development (IHSD Inc.) currently serves 181 infant and toddlers around San Mateo County with quality child development programs and is now preparing spaces to serve 32 more infant and toddlers this fall. With infant toddler programs already located in South San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, and San Mateo, IHSD is looking to open four new Early Head Start classrooms with two in East Palo Alto and two more in the north county area. This will be a first for IHSD to serve East Palo Alto with Early Head Start programs.

Early Head Start is just of a three different service models offered by IHSD, whose mission is to provide excellent, comprehensive child development and support services to the highest need children ages 0-5 years old in San Mateo County. The grant opportunity was approved by the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and helps IHSD deepen its impact.Read more

IHSD Family Day 2019 Results

Thank you to everyone that came out to celebrate our 1st IHSD Family Day Even on Saturday, April 13 from 10 am - 2 pm at San Mateo Central Park Recreation Center!

  • 370 total guests attended
  • 135 families
  • 7 different community fair vendors
  • Temperature of 68°F on a beautiful day!
  • 31 of IHSD staff working
  • 2 arts and craft activities
  • 2 of wellness presentations
  • 60 minutes of outdoor activities with Mike and Mike and friends
  • 30 of families at Fatherhood Summit

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Volunteers Needed for a Chance to "Rebuild" IHSD

IHSD Facilities Coordinator Joy Dueñas highlights a wonderful and upcoming partnership that will support our programs and makes a call for more volunteers!


Happy Monday! I am in high spirits after experiencing our first IHSD Family Day this Saturday at the San Mateo Central Park! Not only was it a gorgeous day to see our families but so wonderful to see our dedicated staff engaging with our beautiful families while they did craft and wellness activities with the children and parents in addition to continuing to literally nourish families with food but also with beneficial presentations along side our community partners. I saw our amazing parent ambassadors step up to the plate and really shine as well!

I expect the in-kind there to be at least $50,000 in professional hours and materials alone and that is only for one site!

What a great way to celebrate 35 years of IHSD serving our community! On that same note of serving, I wanted to highlight another wonderful partnership we have had with Rebuilding Together for the past few years. This year, we were fortunate to be chosen by the Associate Director of Rebuilding Together because of our strong commitment to serving to community. Even though I had not submitted an application for our sites to receive repairs this year, Cari Pang Chen reached out to us to offer repairs to 4 of our sites based on applications I had submitted previously for our sites!


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Rebuilding Together Peninsula to Rebuild Three IHSD Sites During April’s National Rebuilding Month

Rebuilding Together, the leading national nonprofit organization with a mission to repair the homes of people in need and revitalize our communities, will host its annual National Rebuilding Month this April. Last year, over 30,000 volunteers donated 230,000 hours throughout National Rebuilding Month.

In our community, Rebuilding Together Peninsula will host volunteers on Saturday, April 27 to repair two IHSD Head Start program sites in East Palo Alto and the Serramonte Child Development Center in Daly City. This will be the fourth year IHSD and Rebuilding Together Peninsula will be partnering together to provide facility upgrades for community programs targeting low-income communities. Cooley LLP, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, PC, and the WSGR Foundation, and Webcor are providing the volunteers and corporate sponsorship funding to support these projects. All of these companies have been longtime sponsors of Rebuilding Together Peninsula’s National Rebuilding Day program.Read more

Building a Father Figure Community

We sat down with Charlie Cervantes, IHSD Family Service & Father Engagement Specialist, to talk about his work in building a father figure community.


IHSD: First off, how did you start working for IHSD?

Charlie: I started working in 2001 through Child Care Careers as an aid. I started as an aid for about a year and then became a permanent employee in 2002 as an assistant teacher. I worked my way through Fair Oaks, Half Moon Bay, San Mateo, East Palo Alto, Home Based program and was a home visitor for seven years. In 2015, I became a family advocate for our East Palo Alto site and help father engagement.

IHSD: What can you tell us about the father figure cafés?

Charlie: A father figure café is a physically and emotionally safe space where father figures talk about the challenges and victories of raising a family. They explore their strengths, learn about the five protective factors, and create strategies from their own wisdom and experience to help strengthen their families.

We wanted to make dads feel welcomed and create a warm inviting environment.

IHSD: What is the goal of the father figure cafés?

Charlie: Father figures leave our father figure cafés feeling inspired, energized and excited to put into practice what they learned. The goal of the father figure cafés is to create an intimate environment where father figures can share and support each other as a strategy for strengthening families.Read more

Serving the Coast from a Coastal Native

IHSD Family Services Coordinator Melissa shares her story serving IHSD from the coast.


Working on the coast for IHSD is such a unique and rewarding experience.  Many people know of and have visited the now very popular tourist town of Half Moon Bay.  The roads crowd each weekend with people from all around to visit it's beaches, pumpkin patches, and Christmas tree farms, as well as to eat at incredible restaurants.  However, Half Moon Bay was not always so well-known, and only relatively recently has become such a popular destination.  Although it is constantly changing and growing, there are still many "small town" characteristics that make it such a great place to work, and a special place for our children and families to live. Before going any further, I think it's important to mention that the joy I find in working on the Coast is greatly influenced by my own personal story.Read more

A Healthy Start to 2019!

IHSD Health & Nutrition Services Manager, Fou, shares some healthy perspective to start the new year!


As we enter the new year, there’s no better time to reflect on overall wellness. At IHSD, I
gratefully embrace the incredible leadership that guides the fulfilling work that we do to support
our children and their families.

IHSD’s spirit exemplifies a purpose that is true to the creation of Head Start and that is around
the child’s well being. While our staff are easily found busying themselves with compliance
driven health and nutrition deadlines, we can certainly share that this is the testament to the
love we have for our families and our agency.

We live in a county where folks are constantly stretched to meet the needs of their children, their families and so we take great pride in the confidence they have in entrusting their children to the IHSD learning community.

Our efforts in guiding them around the importance and value of keeping their child healthy and safe by sharing the benefit in timely physical exams, having their children immunized to mention a few and most importantly that their child is thriving, growing, learning.Read more

How to Share the Holiday Spirit

IHSD Family and Community Engagement Coordinator Moana shares what the holiday spirit means to her.


For me, the holidays are a time to pause with the ones we have been blessed with during our life's journey. Taking in and creating an opportunity to reflect, reconcile, build, encourage, and speak life into one another. As we enter a new season of love, laughter, tears, accomplishments, setbacks for a greater comeback, everything that comes makes us a stronger unit. We are definitely stronger together!

During this holiday season don't be afraid to give and take!Read more

My #FavoritePreschoolMemory with Elizabeth Ponce

IHSD alumna-now-staff, Elizabeth Ponce, shares her #FavoritePreschoolMemory. What's yours?


I remember being in class with one of my favorite teachers, Ms. Lorreine (sp?). I didn't speak much English and being of an extremely shy temperament didn't help much. With her, I, however, remember feeling very safe. As I became felt more secure in my new environment, I remember vividly playing with my new friends outside at the Pacifica site that IHSD once had. I can still remember the structures that were there and how the outside area looked.

A second special memory I have is the visit from the firefighters, specifically the sound of their breathing in their masks as they showed us how they crawled on their hands and knees in a burning building. They turned off the lights to make the room feel darker and had us stay quiet, so we could hear the sound of their breathing.Read more

IHSD Cheers to 35 Years

Our 35th-anniversary celebration and inaugural fundraising event was a great success! Thank you for attending, hearing our speakers, making a bid, and especially to those who generously contributed to our Fund-a-Need (Preschool Scholarship Giving).

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