Grants for Early Childhood Education

Many experts agree that early childhood education is vital to laying the foundation for a child’s mental development and studies have shown that in the first five years of life the ability of the brain to change and grow is remarkable. It stands to reason that the government would take an interest in providing programs and grants for early childhood education.

  • No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. One of the most well-known advances for childhood education. Programs such as The Early Reading First program established by this act provide grants to school districts for programs such as the Head Start program.

  • Even Start. An educational program for low-income families that is designed to improve the scholastic accomplishment of young children and their parents, particularly in the area of reading.

  • Reading is Fundamental (RIF). Provides aid to local nonprofit groups and volunteer organizations for reading motivation activities. RIF encourages reading both inside and outside of school by allowing children to select books to keep at home.

In addition to grants from government sources, there are also grants from corporations and other associations that take an interest in early childhood education. For example,

  • LEGO. The LEGO Children’s Fund provides quarterly project grants and some matching fund grants to nonprofit organizations that have needs regarding:

    • Early childhood education and development that is directly related to creativity

    • Technology and communication projects that advance learning opportunities

  • Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education Fund (CHASE). Allocates 25% of its funds to early childhood education.

  • IBM. Their KidSmart Early Learning Program assists pre-K programs all over the world. They also have a website, http://www.kidsmartearlylearning.org/, which supports teachers and parents.

  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Established in 1930 by the breakfast cereal pioneer the foundation is still funded mainly by a trust set up by Mr. Kellogg. His instructions to how to use the trust was simply “Use the money as you please so long as it promotes the health, happiness and well-being of children.” Although they work in many areas of childhood development, one of their missions is specific to early childhood development.

For those of you with a good memory, you may recall President Obama’s campaign speech in which he addressed his stance on early childhood education; “We’ll increase Head Start funding and quadruple Early Start to include a quarter of a million at-risk children. I will create a Presidential Early Learning Council to coordinate this effort across all levels of government and ensure that we’re providing these children and families with the highest-quality programs.” — 11/20/07, Manchester, Iowa

While this Council has not yet materialized, there is little doubt that President Obama is working to keep his promise. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included $2 billion for Head Start funding.

Our children are the future of this country – we must safeguard that future by properly educating our youth.

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