Child and Family Development

The Challenge

Human brain development research shows that a child’s first five years are the most important for healthy development, and what happens in those years can have a profound impact on later academic success and life. The most significant factor in a child’s well-being is a family’s economic security.

The Impact We Seek

To give children the emotional, social and educational readiness to succeed in school and life through:

  • High-quality and accessible child care and early childhood education
  • Helping individuals obtain the skills and resources they need to provide for their families
  • Educating and influencing policymakers

Child and Family Development Grantmaking

To address these needs in child and family development, we fund programs and projects in these areas:

  • Early childhood development, especially parent education programs and high-quality early childhood education
  • Family self-sufficiency, including employment training and family support services
  • Efforts to plan, create, implement and evaluate public policy that has a positive impact on early childhood education and development, and family self-sufficiency

Learn more about Child and Family Development grant guidelines, submitting a grant application, recent grants and the members of our Child and Family Development Committee.

Collaborations and Leadership in Child and Family Development

In addition to inviting grant applications for these grant priorities, the Child and Family Development program area takes leadership by creating and participating in initiatives to change the community. Here are a few examples:

  • Race to the Top funding – We were instrumental in helping Colorado secure a $29.9 million federal Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge grant in 2012 which will help increase access to high-quality early learning opportunities for all Colorado children. Learn more about Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge.
  • The Alliance for Early Success – We are advancing Colorado policies that lead to improved health, learning and economic outcomes for young children in collaboration with several funding partners, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Visit the Alliance for Early Success' website.
  • Early Childhood Mental Health Study – In partnership with Caring for Colorado Foundation and our Health program area, we completed an environmental scan (PDF) of Colorado’s early childhood mental health systems, which identified many gaps, as well as steps for addressing systemic challenges.

A variety of resources inform our work in Child and Family Development. View our studies and reports.

Donor Engagement

We invite you to join us as we connect people, resources and innovative ideas to strengthen the community. Please contact the Child and Family Development program officer if you are interested in joining us in this work.

More grantmaking you might like to read about