In a new State of American Philanthropy series brief, Giving for Early Childhood Education, Inside Philanthropy reports on the top ten givers and receivers of private philanthropy funding to early childhood education, and reflects on trends in giving strategies and focus areas. The brief explores and features examples of funder strategies & models in ECE, including:
- Research, innovation models, and information dissemination
- Public-private partnerships
- Training and diversifying the ECE workforce
- Support for innovation and evaluation
- Advancing the “whole child” approach
- Concentrating on local, under-resourced communities
- Supporting advocacy
The brief also explores trends in ECE including funders focusing on equity, and related strategies such as: expanding the number of programs in key communities; increasing dual-language learning programs; and looking inward at their own internal operations and practices. Collaboration, and pooled funding collaboratives, such as the Raising Child Care Fund, Early Educator Investment Collaborative, Pediatrics Supporting Parents, and the BUILD Initiative, are cited among the strategies funders are using to leverage collective knowledge and resources for greater impact in early childhood.
This is a moment in time, and we can’t blow it. We don’t want to miss this opportunity to create the kind of lasting, durable early interventions that are going to make such a difference in the lives of so many children and so many communities.
~ Jessie Rasmussen, President, Buffett Early Childhood Fund
In a concluding discussion on opportunities and challenges, Inside Philanthropy notes that the many advocates and funders interviewed for the brief agree that the pandemic revealed what was hiding in plain site: a crisis in early childhood education. This may be changing, and if there is a shift, philanthropy will deserve some of the credit. Philanthropies cited in the report, including many ECFC member foundations, have helped helped lift and advance early childhood issues, and are the forefront of lifting up innovate ideas and solutions.