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Foundations Announce Early Childhood Initiative
September 4, 2002

"Mistakes are the portals of discovery." —James Joyce


Early childhood partnerships in four states -- Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio and Minnesota -- will receive $350,000 each to develop state-specific strategies for improving early learning opportunities for children ages birth through five. The initial two-year awards are part of a national initiative being launched by 11 members of the Early Childhood Funders' Collaborative (ECFC), a consortium of national and local foundations. The initiative, known as Build, seeks to support policymakers, providers and advocates who are committed to ensuring the positive development of very young children.

The four state grants will be used to connect and strengthen those programs and services so there can be a continuum of care and learning
opportunities available for all children, from birth through age five. The four states were chosen based on a range of criteria, including their readiness to build comprehensive systems of early care and education. Partnership teams are being formalized in each state and will include state agency officials, business and community leaders, parents, advocates, and others who work with young children. Each team will develop a plan by mid-November that will be submitted to the Build Initiative.

The ECFC was established in 1995 to share information about successful program and policy interventions in early childhood education and identify opportunities for strategic partnerships. Foundations participating in the coalition include the Caroline and Sigmund Schott Foundation, George Gund Foundation, Lucent Technologies Foundation, Harris Foundation, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, A.L. Mailman Family Foundation, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation, The Schumann Fund for New Jersey, and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

For information about the Build Initiative, go to: www.BuildInitiative.org

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