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.

There is continued demand for improved teacher-family communication and engagement, and family engagement solutions are delivering on student outcomes.

Grantee Spotlight

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

Centering Healthcare Institute

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

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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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Three students standing in blue aprons


Improving early language skills through “talk pedometer” technology.

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Springboard Collaborative

Connecting home and school to close the early literacy gap.

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

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two children play together

Tools of the Mind

Building children’s executive function skills through teacher professional development focused on purposeful play.

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Waterford Upstart

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

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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, family engagement solutions, and push-in supports that increase adult to child ratios.

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 types of early learning curricula (supplemental, comprehensive, and subject-specific) are the most scalable with positive impact?

What impact do reappraisal interventions have on emotional resilience in early education settings, how long will the effects last, and is there potential to impact other outcomes?

Other Portfolios