Since 1974, PACCC has pursued its non-profit mission of providing care and education for Palo Alto’s children. The agency was originally founded by city leaders to meet the need for high quality and affordable options rooted in the community.

PACCC's roots in the community have grown even deeper over the years. We have more sites throughout the City of Palo Alto than any other agency. Our After School Kids' Clubs are located onsite at 11 of 12 elementary schools of Palo Alto Unified School District, and we value our close partnerships with school administrators. PACCC is also a main source of training opportunities for other child care providers in our community.

PACCC serves the child care needs of more than 800 children daily; providing care for children from as young as two months through 5th grade at 18 programs throughout the city. The non-profit mission of the agency includes making quality care accessible to all of Palo Alto's residents regardless of income. Approximately 17% of PACCC families receive financial aid or scholarship support either from the City of Palo Alto, the State, or from PACCC itself.



PACCC History


Planting The Seed

In 1969, six forward-thinking mothers had the courage to speak up to the City Council about the growing need for quality, affordable child care in Palo Alto. Subsequently, in 1971, the Child Care Task Force appointed by the Palo Alto City Council recommended that the City take an active and supportive role in the provision of child care and related services, and that a non-profit corporation be established to implement and coordinate the Task Force's recommendations.



Founding PACCC

Palo Alto Community Child Care (PACCC) was created and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization in March 1974 to carry out the various components of the Task Force Plan. The Plan called for the creation of a sick care program, an infant-toddler center, a preschool program, and two part-time centers. Other elements of the Plan included the licensing of 35 day care homes; the subsidizing of low-income children at two non-PACCC centers; and the hiring of the City Child Care Coordinator who would also serve as the Executive Director of PACCC.




For the next ten years, PACCC operated seven child care programs, seven independent "affiliate" programs, and a network of 25 family child care providers. One of the City's child care goals was to see the administration of PACCC child care centers become self-supporting. Accordingly, in 1984, the City of Palo Alto began to reduce its administrative subsidy to PACCC.





In 1989, with the passage of the utility users' tax, afterschool care facilities were established at every elementary school site. PACCC became a major provider of school-age care, and the number of PACCC centers increased from 7 to 15.




In September 2001, PACCC assumed responsibility for administering the Child Development Subsidy Program formerly implemented by the Palo Alto Unified School District, including the administration of two additional centers.




Community Involvement and Leadership

In 2014, PACCC received the Tall Tree Award for Outstanding Nonprofit from Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce, “Given to a nonprofit that has made a substantial contribution to the lasting enhancement of Palo Alto while demonstrating exceptional leadership and community involvement…Honorees are selected based on their local impact, breadth of contribution, diversity of individuals impacted, timeliness and originality of contribution."



A New Bridge Between Preschool & Kindergarten

90% of brain growth happens before kindergarten, and preschool and transitional kindergarten are stepping stones to kindergarten. In collaboration with Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD), PACCC expanded programming to include transitional kindergarten (TK) afterschool care at its Kids’ Clubs in 2022. The Palo Alto Community Fund supported the expansion by awarding PACCC with the Dave Mitchell Impact Grant to fund staff training, curriculum to align with the PAUSD Promise, and developmentally appropriate equipment and instructional supplies. 



Eliminating Barriers

PACCC actively works to eliminate barriers to access and advocate for affordable and accessible childcare options for all families. In 2023, PACCC opened 126 afterschool care spaces for PAUSD’s Expanded Learning Opportunity Program (ELO-P). As noted in a PAUSD newsletter, “PACCC continues to support local working families via government and private funding. As part of the Education Code, the legislature has focused on programs that supplement school-day learning. Such additions are intended to not only augment academic needs, but also support the emotional, physical, and social needs of children both before and after school and also during summer or intersession learning programs.”


PACCC Strategic Plan 2023 - 2030