The Education program’s goal for its national work is to develop coherent early childhood education systems in 5 to 7 states that will enable children from families with low incomes and children of color to reach their full potential.

In order to make progress toward this goal, this line of grantmaking focuses on systems building at the state levelFunctional early childhood systems at the state level include several critical elements, three of which include effective governance, durable financing, and a well-prepared and well-compensated workforce of early educators. The Education program focuses its investments in these three elements because they have an outsized impact on the functioning of early childhood systems as a whole, which ultimately results in positive impacts on children’s learning and well-being.

Informed by this approach, three of the Education program’s major investments include:

  • The Early Educator Investment Collaborative (the Collaborative), a $16.5 million multi-funder effort working to transform the early childhood education workforce by supporting equitable access to teacher preparation, ongoing professional learning, and compensation that reflects the formative value of early educators. The Collaborative is supported via the Education Program’s Stabilizing the Early Childhood Education Workforce major initiative.
  • The Early Childhood Governance and Finance Project (ECGFP), a multi-state initiative that invests in organizations that are directly seeking to improve governance and financing in their home U.S. states, territories, and tribal nations. ECGFP supports projects that center equity, support the early educator workforce, and improve access to high-quality services for children and families. Currently the project has investments in eight states and territories, including Alaska, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New Mexico. ECGFP is supported via the Education Program’s Effective Governance and Financing of State Early Childhood Education Systems major initiative.
  • The Raising Child Care Fund (RCCF) is a multi-funder effort that supports community organizers working alongside parents, early educators, and providers to lift voices, build power, and expand equity. Most community organizers supported by RCCF are people of color. RCCF has raised over $11 million in philanthropic support since its inception. RCCF is supported via the Education Program’s Effective Governance and Financing of State Early Childhood Education Systems major initiative.

In addition to this focus on systems building at the state level, the Education program’s national grantmaking has long supported policy advocacy and grassroots organizing to increase public investment in early childhood education at the federal level.