New to early childhood philanthropy?  Here are some basics to help you think about where to get started. Want to talk more about where your funding interests intersect with early childhood? Connect with ECFC.

Early Childhood 101


Three Core Concepts in Early Childhood from the Harvard University Center for the Developing Child (videos, briefs and other tools).  Also from the Center:  Working Paper 15: Connecting the Brain to the Rest of the Body, examines how developing biological systems in the body interact with each other and adapt to the contexts in which a child is developing—for better or for worse—with lifelong consequences for physical and mental health. A brief, in English, and Spanish, highlights key points of Working Paper 15 and provides policy and practice implications for reaching infants and young children as early as possible.


EC Development Primers for Funders, Promise Venture Studio. Topics include: developmental screening, maternal mental health, and language and literacy.   VIEW ALL PRIMERS

Framing Early Childhood


Early Relational Health Strategic Brief, FrameWorks Institute and the Center for the Study of Social Policy. Topics include: framing why early relationships matter, and the "untranslated” story of ERH (what experts want you to know). VIEW THE BRIEF


Talking About Early Childhood Development Toolkit and Compendium, Frameworks Institute and the A.L. Mailman Foundation. Tools include: Framing and messaging briefs, and EC framing case studies. VIEW THE TOOLKIT

Making the Case for Investing in EC


Invest in a Strong Start for Children Toolkit for EC Donors, from the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, University of Pennsylvania,.  Topics include: why invest in EC, strategies for donors; and key players in early childhood (philanthropy, government, information, advocacy and research). WATCH THE 3-MINUTE VIDEO INTRODUCTION  VIEW THE FULL TOOLKIT


Heckman Equation 13% ROI Toolkit provides background, research and supporting materials showing showing a 13% return on investment for comprehensive, high-quality, birth-to-five early education. Read Lifecycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program (2pg Summary)VIEW THE TOOLKIT

Equity and Justice


Start with Equity: 14 Priorities to Dismantle Systemic Racism in ECE, The Children’s Equity Project, funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation, in partnership leading equity and justice advocates.  Outlines critical priorities and actionable policies that Congress, federal agencies, states and tribes can immediately and concretely utilize to advance equity in the early care and education system. READ THE REPORT


Building Back for Equity: Guidance to Inform 2021 Early Childhood Grantmaking, a joint project of the Heising-Simons Foundation , The Education Trust, and The Bridgespan Group discusses philanthropy's opportunity to guide early childhood education into an equitable future and build a better EC system post-pandemic. READ THE BRIEF

Early Childhood Policy

Blueprint for Congress on Early Care and Education. Resources and information from the First Five Years Fund showcasing the policy opportunities for a new Congress and Administration to support the care and education of children from birth through age five. READ THE BLUEPRINT

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