Delivering Ideal Learning

How can we reach 20 million preschool children?

Learn why our collaborative funding model is succeeding.


In the exploding early childhood education field, there are millions of children who need developmentally appropriate, high quality opportunities and the infrastructure in the United States is being built as we speak, one state at a time. That infrastructure will need to be seamless enough to cover a wide range of ages and stages (birth -8 or more) and yet nimble enough to roll up all of the existing child care and formal early education efforts that are currently underway.

Trust for Learning recognizes that grantmakers must resist the temptation of “picking a winner”, but rather must use their neutral convening authority to gather those stakeholders who share common ground and help them build their collective power to provide and scale the best developmentally appropriate learning opportunities — with a unified set of goals and outcomes — to truly change the sector’s mindset from competition to collaboration.

Despite the highly political and competitive nature of the education reform sector, ECE funders have a unique vantage point from which to leverage collaboration. Grantmakers must be careful about presuming that they can each bring about sector level change on their own — even with unlimited resources, they must coordinate their efforts, either through direct partnerships and alliances, or minimally through organized and regular knowledge-sharing.

Across the field, there are already many funder collaboratives working to elevate the early childhood sector and they too need to align with one another in this crowded field, understanding where each other is on the national map, where their work complements one another and where there are gaps in services in resources.

Throughout our work with a range of funding partners and convening efforts, Trust for Learning has put great value on the funder collaborative and the grantee collaborative working in partnership to identify and address the biggest sectorwide obstacles and opportunities in the field of early childhood education.

Our partners and providers with whom we have worked include:

mccall-kulak mcteague-catalyst-fund harold-simmons-logo
wfflogo stranahan-foundation buffett
new-america seachange_logo montessori-leaders
narea tools-of-the-mind bank-street-school-for-children
friends-center-for-children appletree ounce
southwest clayton cap-tulsa