Early Education Funders Collaborative

The Early Education Funders Collaborative (the Collaborative) formed in 2014 with a vision that all students served by early childhood education providers in Metro Kansas City are kindergarten-ready and able to transition to schools that will build on that preparation through at least grade three. 

Partner organizations in planning and/or funding include Francis Family Foundation, George K. Baum Family Foundation, Greater Kansas City Community FoundationThe H & R Block Foundation, Hall Family Foundation, Hispanic Development Fund, Kauffman Foundation, Sherman Family Foundation, Shumaker Family Foundation, Stanley H. Durwood Foundation, United Way of Greater Kansas City, and William G. McGowan Charitable Fund.

The Collaborative supports improvements in early childhood education systems and increased options and opportunities for families in the region.

Early Education Grant Fund

The Early Education Grant Fund supports early education initiatives in the Kansas City metropolitan area that increase quality and/or access for low-income families and children of color. Projects funded by this program must demonstrate proven or promising results in preparing students to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. Grant applications will be accepted starting February 13, 2017 and will be due by March 13, 2017 at 5 p.m. Organizations with active grants through the Early Education Grant Fund are not eligible to apply.

Early Education Grant Fund Information 

Information sessions will be held on February 15 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Kauffman Foundation, 4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, Mo.
Click here to view the information session presentation.

Download Feedback and Suggestions for Early Education Grant Fund Applicants PDF

In 2016, the Early Education Funders Collaborative awarded grants to 17 organizations in Greater Kansas City through the Early Education Grant Fund. These organizations will use the grants, totaling more than $5 million, to support kindergarten-readiness for low-income families and children of color. The following organizations received funding through this opportunity:

Fall 2016

Kansas Action for Children
This grant will support advocacy initiatives on behalf of all children in Kansas.

Missouri Children’s Leadership Council
Support from this grant will expand the organization’s capacity to advocate on behalf of children in Missouri.

Olathe Public Schools Foundation
The organization will use funds to assist Spanish-speaking child care providers in becoming licensed and improving the quality of care available to low-income families.

Shawnee Mission School District
This grant will support the expansion of pre-k programming and family engagement activities to seven additional elementary schools.

Start at Zero
Support from this grant will expand parental engagement programming to two additional schools serving low-income families.

The Family Conservancy
The organization will use funds to expand quality improvement training and programming for child care providers.

The Literacy Lab
Support from this grant will increase the number of full-time tutors and paraprofessionals in pre-k classrooms to help more children gain the literacy skills they need to be prepared for kindergarten.  

United Way of Wyandotte County
This grant will support the expansion of pre-k programming and family engagement activities in Wyandotte County. 

Spring 2016

El Centro, Inc.
The organization will use funds to hire highly qualified instructional staff, add a mental health consultant and provide individual student scholarships.

Guadalupe Centers
This grant will support the opening of a new preschool campus, serving 60 to 80 additional children this fall.

Growing Futures Early Education Center
The organization will increase its capacity to serve lower-income families in Johnson County by expanding the number of seats in its Head Start program. Additionally, the program will expand teacher support and training using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System®.

Kansas City Missouri Public Schools
Support from this grant will enable the district to add infant and toddler classrooms in the existing early education program as well as to add parent education staff to the Parents as Teachers program.

Mid-America Regional Council Community Services Corp.
This grant will support several quality improvement initiatives in the Kansas City region, including teacher training on the Desired Results Development Profile, piloting a kindergarten-readiness screening instrument, expanding the Classroom Assessment Scoring System® program and conducting research.

Operation Breakthrough, Inc.
Funding will support ongoing operations in the early education program, with the ultimate goal of children being kindergarten-ready.

The Children’s Place
This grant supports the organization in training staff and implementing the Conscious Discipline methodology for children who have experienced trauma and adversity.

United Inner City Services (St. Mark Child and Family Development Center)
Funding will support teacher professional development and collaboration, parent engagement initiatives, program evaluation, and the addition of new staff members.

University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute (Educare)
This grant will enable the organization to increase the number of seats in their preschool program for three- and four-year-old children in Wyandotte County.

Download Press Release PDF

Greater Kansas City Early Care and Education Study

The Collaborative recently funded the Greater Kansas City Early Care and Education Study, which collected data from early childhood education programs within Jackson County to provide districts, schools, centers, funders, and supporters an opportunity to understand who is accessing services, what services are being accessed, and information about who is providing those services.

Download Executive Summary PDF

Download Full Report PDF