Our goal: Increase the likelihood that all children enter kindergarten “ready to learn” and experience early school success.

The early years of a child’s life are a critical time for learning, but we know that fewer than half of all kindergarteners come to school kindergarten-ready, with significant disparities by race and income. Parents and caregivers are deeply committed to giving their children the strongest possible start, but may not have access to the resources they need to maximize children’s cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Our Early Impact portfolio funds direct impact and ecosystem organizations that support families and early learning environments in expanding their use of evidence-based practices that are proven to make a difference in the early lives of children, setting them on the path toward early and later school success.

Our Learnings

Early childhood plays a critical role in later school success.

There is widespread underinvestment and fragmentation in early childhood.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated disparities among our nation’s youngest learners.

The early childhood sector is struggling to attract or retain enough providers to meet demand.

The pandemic and decrease in childcare options mean parents need more support.

Parent coaching, even when virtual, can be effective in impacting parent behavior and child outcomes that are predictive of kindergarten readiness.

School closures led to increased demand for teacher-family communication.

Grantee Spotlight

Learn more about some of the work funded by the Early Impact portfolio.

Springboard Collaborative

Connecting home and school to close the early literacy gap.

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Centering Healthcare Institute

Improving children’s outcomes through group-based prenatal and pediatric healthcare.

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Scaling the use of AI-powered translation to strengthen teachers’ connections to non-English speaking families.

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Waterford Upstart

Increasing access to high-quality Pre-K education for students across the country.

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Improving early language skills through “talk pedometer” technology.

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An infant participates in brain imaging. Image provided by I-LABS.


Generating knowledge to help parents support children’s early language development.

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Our Approach

Support Parents

Develop and scale sustainable parent support programs that improve healthy birth outcomes and increase family readiness to support child development and early school success.

Our Approach

Improve Early Learning Environments

Improve the quality of early learning environments by increasing the availability of high-quality instructional materials and aligned professional development for early childhood providers, teacher-family communication methods, and business and licensing supports.

Our Approach

Spread Best Practices

Accelerate the spread of best practices in early childhood through knowledge generation, measurement improvement, and field building.

A nurse helps a mom engage her infant with toys. Image provided by Nurse-Family Partnership.
Children ride tricycles outside their preschool. Image provided by Campaign for Grade Level Reading.

Our Questions

What type of family engagement strategies are the most cost-effective and impactful for driving academic outcomes?

What are the most cost-effective levers for increasing the quality of early learning environments?

Other Portfolios