Our Mission is to harness the power of research to ensure that all young children benefit from early learning experiences that affirm their individual, family, and community assets, fortify them against harmful consequences arising from poverty, racism, prejudice, and discrimination, and strengthen their developmental potential.
Our Vision is to create a path to lifelong development and well-being for all young children across the birth to age eight continuum to have the opportunity to learn and the supports they need to reach their full potential. We see high-quality early care and education as providing a solid first step on the path towards this vision. We further envision a world in which the diversity of today’s young children is celebrated as an asset for building a strong and productive society. While our work is aimed towards the well-being of all young children, we do have a specific focus on certain sub-groups of children as priority populations.
Our Primary Goal is to support policy and practice relevant research to understand young children, particularly our priority populations, and to understand the complex, individual and interacting systems which impact young children. We believe that families, schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses and government at all levels share complementary responsibilities in the critical task of raising new generations and in supporting policies and practices that promote children’s well-being.
Our Core Operating Principles are reflected in our work:
- Continuous improvement: We view organizational improvement as an essential element of our work, and we constantly seek opportunities to adapt, design, and implement more effective, innovative and efficient approaches.
- Effective grantmaking: We value holding ourselves to high standards of grantmaking effectiveness and adopt metrics for assessing our success in meeting our goals and adapt our grant-making strategies accordingly.
- Transparency: We are clear, open, and honest about the processes and decisions that are relevant to our work including: what we are learning through our work, and how we assess performance and impact, as well as our selection processes and funding decisions.
- Diversity: We regard diversity as an asset for building a strong and productive society, thus we are committed to diversity on staff and board, through the grantees that we fund, and the children and families on which we focus.
- Partnership with grantees: We approach our grantees as our partners in the pursuit of common goals, and view their work and knowledge as essential to our ongoing efforts to achieve shared goals on behalf of young children.
- Collaboration: We join forces with families, schools, funders, nonprofits, researchers, businesses and policymakers to initiate respectful, thoughtful and open dialogue and to leverage our resources.
- Collegiality: We value a workplace characterized by collaboration and teamwork. We are united by our shared belief in the mission and goals of the Foundation, and celebrate each other’s individual abilities and strengths in working toward our goals.