Picturing brighter futures

High-quality free and affordable early education, health, and social support to children and their families


Did you know that a child’s brain is developed 90% by age 6? Numerous studies show that when children receive high-quality care and education during these early years of life, they are better prepared for school, become better readers, and are more likely to graduate high school. These outcomes benefit every child and family, and our community as a whole. 

With the median annual cost for childcare for a preschooler at $19,448 for a childcare center and $17,976 for a family childcare home, the need for affordable childcare has only grown. Additionally there were also only 48% of children in working families in Marin for whom a licensed childcare space was available this past year. Community Action Marin has provided high-quality early childcare and education to the families of Marin for over 30 years.  We have grown to become the largest provider of subsidized childcare in the county, serving 550+ families each day at 9 campuses from Marin City to Novato, and San Rafael to West Marin. 

At Community Action Marin, we provide high-quality free and affordable early education, health, and social support to children and their families. We individualize the program for each child, from pre-natal to school-age, including supporting the development of the home language.

Living our values guides all that we do. With trust as our foundation, we pursue healing-centered engagement to bring about transformational change. We also recognize the importance of doing the work in our own house to create meaningful steps toward equity and well-being in order to do the hard work to accomplish our goals of racial and economic justice in our Marin community. Take a look at how we build a thriving workplace and the tools we use to do the work of racial and economic justice. Download both tools in English or our roadmap in Spanish by clicking the buttons below.


The Numbers


The number of children that received high-quality early education in the past year


The share of students who said they felt happy, safe, and a sense of belonging in our programs


Percentage of parents who said the program helped them with employment, education, or caregiving


Through our programs, Community Action Marin sets children up to do well in school and later in life by giving them a safe, caring, home-away-from-home to have fun, learn, and explore. The agency’s Whole Family Approach works to ensure that needs are met and outcomes at the individual, agency, and community levels are achieved to strengthen well-being.

Head Start Community Action Marin

Early Childhood Education

Community Action Marin offers quality education programs for each age group. These programs are designed to provide children with the skills they need to support every stage in their development. Our programs support families so that parents can work and know their children are being taken care of and learning. Our educational programs help families thrive. 


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Home Visiting Program

Our at-home childcare is an individualized program option designed for any family who may not have regular access to transportation or would prefer a personal visit from a home visitor. In this program, parents and their home visitor partner together to plan fun-filled learning activities for the child based on the developmental goals of their age group. Each month social activities are also planned so that children and parents can come together for a learning and interactive experience with others in the program. 


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Family Childcare Network

Our licensed childcare providers offer high quality childcare for children 0-3 years of age and combine the standards of a first-rate childcare center with the personal touch and familiarity of a home environment. Children are cared for in safe and healthy surroundings and enjoy developmentally and age-appropriate activities, and nurturing interactions. 

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Learning Gardens

A longtime highlight of our Children and Family Services, our Learning Gardens program is growing in exciting ways to increase healthy eating choices and access to fresh  fruits and vegetables  among the families  we serve.

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What we Provide

High-quality childcare

Developmentally age-appropriate programs

Lunch and snack provided

Safe and caring place for kids to have fun, learn, and explore

Staff speak both English and Spanish

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are eligible; expectant women, children 0-5 years of age and their families. These groups must live in Marin County and meet federal poverty guidelines, receive public assistance, or are foster children. 

For pre-natal – age 5, programs are full day, full year and include comprehensive health, nutrition, education, social services, and family development. 

For children age 5+, programs take place after the school day ends. The program is full time during the summer.

Our Preschool Centers for children ages 3 – 5, focus on support for dual language learners, 

Children in the program receive meals that meet or exceed nutritional guidelines as established by the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Take a look at our sample menus to see the healthy and nutritious meals children receive.

Careers in Childhood Education

The Pathways to Success Apprenticeship lets people jump-start their career in Early Childhood Education (ECE). Participants in this unique working and learning experience earn 12 Early Childhood Education units through College of Marin, complete 2,000 hours of paid work experience, and are eligible for an Associate Teacher permit.

Already have experience teaching? Take a look at our current job openings and download our teacher benefits flyer in English or Spanish now!


I continue to benefit from the love and support received from Community Action Marin. I cannot imagine what my life would have been if it weren’t for the assistance at this center, where all children are provided with essential opportunities for exploration, self development, and the freedom to express themselves…I am forever grateful for the incredible support I received from the agency and for the opportunities they provided. This organization and its mission have given hope, meaning, and purpose to so many young people and families and enabled them to see a brighter future in their respective journeys.

Photo of John Lam

John Lam
Principal Dancer Bostom Ballet
Former Preschool Participant