Values Statement

The Early Childhood Funders Collaborative is an association of committed early childhood funders who have been learning together and improving our positive impact for children and families for over 20 years. We increase the effectiveness of philanthropic investment in systemic, equity-focused approaches to supporting early childhood development. We promote federal, state, and local policies and practices that support young children, their families, and the early childhood community.


  • focuses on children who are prenatal to age eight and their families.
  • takes a multigenerational approach, recognizing that children thrive when their parents thrive.
  • prioritizes equity for children and families who face risks such exclusion or unequal opportunity based on race or ethnicity, special needs, sexual orientation or gender identity, income, or other factors.
  • seeks to promote self-determination and democratic voice for disenfranchised families.
  • recognizes that private philanthropic dollars cannot replace the social safety net, but can leverage public investment, test ideas, and contribute to knowledge about effective practice.
  • promotes the integration of practice, policy and research in grantmaking.


  • reach their full potential, live the healthiest lives possible, and are nurtured in strong relationships with their parents, other adults, and safe and supportive communities.
  • begin school safe, healthy, and ready to learn with a continuum of education and support throughout childhood.
  • enter schools that are safe, healthy, and ready to provide quality education.
  • have a level playing field of opportunities designed to create equitable outcomes for all children, with the most vulnerable benefiting from increased services and investments to create more equitable opportunities.
  • experience environments in which their racial, cultural, and linguistic diversity is respected and meaningfully integrated into their early childhood experiences and education.


  • have a right to secure work that meets their most basic needs and supports economic stability, with a safety net to support them when work does not offer family-supporting pay, working conditions, and benefits.
  • can thrive and advocate for their children through civic participation and having a voice in education, health care, and human services decisions.
  • deserve supportive policies that allow them to both work and parent well.


  • implement a comprehensive approach to child development.
  • implement an intentional approach that incorporates equity into hiring, management, training and curriculum implementation, and evaluation.
  • offer a range of supports for families, including home-based and center-based services.
  • are well-financed through adequate public investment and public-private partnerships.
  • strive for and achieve equitable outcomes for children.
  • serve the unique needs of children who are at higher risk due to poverty, discrimination, disability, health and mental health concerns, or adverse childhood experiences.
  • are staffed by professionals who are respected, well-prepared, and well-compensated.


  • recognizes that U.S. society has a stake in developmental outcomes for ALL children.
  • recognizes our racial, cultural, and linguistic diversity as an asset.
  • adopts budgets that reflect our values with investments in adequate health and mental health care, education (including early care and education), and economic policies that support children and families to thrive.