Skip to content

Mapping the Early Childhood Funding Landscape

In the United States, over 15 million children under the age of nine live in poverty, and more than half of all children ages three to four are not enrolled in preschool due to lack of access to high-quality and affordable early childhood programs. As philanthropy seeks to address these disparities, it is important for funders and grantseekers to consider the giving landscape in these areas across the Unites States.

Where is funding for early childhood care and education concentrated geographically? How much is spent on policy advocacy? And how does philanthropic funding compare relative to poverty levels in a particular state, county, or city?

Funding for Early Childhood Care and Education is a free and interactive mapping tool that provides a valuable starting place for funders and practitioners to explore these questions and more. The tool maps historical giving data in the context of demographic and education indicators, and dives into existing evidence on two specific areas of interest to the field: family engagement and professional development.

With support from the Heising-Simons Foundation, the map was developed by the Foundation Center and is hosted by the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative (ECFC). Barbara Chow, director of the Heising-Simons Foundation’s Education, recently told Philanthropy News Digest that “the real value in working with Foundation Center on this is that the map is dynamic and continuously updated with new data. It doesn’t require human beings to go back and redo it every time a foundation wants to scan the field.” Click here to read the full conversation.

As Barbara mentions, one of the main benefits of the tool is that it is dynamic. As new grants data becomes available, the map will reflect changes in philanthropy’s early childhood funding landscape. To ensure even more up-to-date data, the Foundation Center has an electronic reporting option that allows funders to submit their data via spreadsheet or directly from their grants database. For more information about submitting grants data to Foundation Center, please visit this page.