This 2022 report highlights nine projects led by organizations around the US which were funded through Trust for Learning’s SEED fund. Together, their efforts will reach tens of thousands of educators each year.


Background on the SEED fund

Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the essential role of early childhood educators in our society and economy. Simultaneously, racial justice advocates generated new political will and awareness about the importance of ensuring racial equity in all aspects of child development programs. These conditions spurred momentum and innovation despite the enormous stress of an evolving economic, political, and public health landscape.

Within this context, Trust for Learning (the Trust) created 2020’s Supporting Equitable Educator Development (SEED) fund to catalyze investments that address these challenges and support a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable early learning workforce skilled in high-quality, anti-racist practice aligned with the principles of ideal learning environments. The initiative built on insights from the Trust’s 2020 Ideal Pathways report about the state of educator development programs aligned with ideal learning approaches, and sought to accelerate momentum at the intersection of racial equity and quality in the early childhood profession.

Fund goals and overall impact

With general support from the Trust’s core philanthropic partners, five partners made additional contributions to the SEED fund to support creative COVID-19-era projects led by early learning providers, training organizations, local government, and institutions of higher education to address one or more of the following objectives:

  • reduce barriers to participation for low-income educators and educators of color in high-quality models of educator development
  • create on-ramps to degree and credential pathways by strengthening articulation between educator development experiences and institutions of higher education
  • integrate anti-bias, anti-racist training into educator training curricula and materials

This final report provides a synopsis of the overall impact of the initiative and highlights the remarkable work of each of the nine partners as well as insights related to the fund’s goals. Trust for Learning welcomes additional conversation and feedback on this effort. 

Individual-level impact:

  • SEED funds directly supported more than 50 individual educators through scholarships at several points in the pipeline (high school, CDA, bachelors);
  • SEED funds supported coaching and professional development for at least 100 educators;

Systemic impact:

  • SEED funds supported content improvements focused on anti-bias/anti-racism to a nationwide educator preparation program (via the Council for Professional Recognition) which serves over 40,000 educators per year;
  • SEED funds supported revisions to 4 large-scale educator development curricula (including Educare and HighScope) which will impact over 2,500 educators per year; 
  • SEED funds supported educators in 18 states during the grant period and will support educators in all states in the future due to substantive changes made to nationwide programs; and
  • In one case, the SEED investment helped make high-quality educator development more affordable and accessible. HighScope’s transition to a virtual platform will save almost 50% per educator. This structural change will allow for greater accessibility for future educators.

On this panel, learn from four partners about their projects and ongoing efforts toward these goals as we mark the release of a new report highlighting all nine projects and lessons learned. Most importantly, hear from our partners, listed below, about what kinds of investments and efforts are needed now to sustain racial equity and antiracism in ECE.


  • Soyoung Park (MODERATOR), Director, Early Childhood Special Education Programs, Bank Street College of Education
  • Teresa Granillo, Chief Executive Officer, AVANCE, Inc,
  • Cynthia Jackson, Executive Director, Educare Learning Network
  • Shantel Meek, Founding Director and Professor of Practice, Children’s Equity Project (CEP), Arizona State University
  • Emily Sharrock, Associate Vice President, Education Center, Bank Street College of Education


Watch WEBINAR:- Where do we go from here?: Antiracist ECE philanthropy in 2023 and beyond

This candid and casual conversation features Iheoma Iruka and Ellen Roche discussing key ECE topics related to organizational development (hiring, training, board engagement), key policy topics (measurement, QRIS, funding), and how the workforce crisis can continue to be a call to action for inclusive and bold investments. They also discussed what kinds of investments and efforts are needed now to sustain racial equity and antiracism in ECE. Watch the recording below and read the op-ed that highlights key racial equity grantmaking practices for funders.

Ask Yourself: How’re we using the power we have while also amplifying organizations that have historically received less attention & financial support?


Photo courtesy of Educare/Start Early

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