Strategic Initiative

Mission

The mission of The Early Childhood Strategic Initiative is to explore and invest in programs that focus on Kindergarten readiness for children ages 3 to 5-years-old who are not in pre-school settings and may, for multiple reasons, have barriers to accessing those services.

Grantmaking

Phase One of the Early Childhood Strategic Initiative consisted of grantmaking to fund pilot research to determine programmatic priorities.

Phase Two of the Early Childhood Strategic Initiative is a four year grant that will serve to connect families to early childhood services and resources by ensuring that quality early childhood services and resources exist and are accessible to children and their families, educators, and the greater community.

Through these initiatives, TFEC seeks to leverage this effort to ultimately improve access to quality early learning opportunities for all children in South Central Pennsylvania. Phase One and Phase Two of the Early Childhood Strategic Initiative are made possible by TFEC’s regional foundation, the Greater Harrisburg Foundation.

Summary of Grant Work

Phase One

For more than a year the Greater Harrisburg Foundation, a regional foundation of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC), has worked to conduct an in-depth needs assessment that documents the existing opportunities and challenges faced by families with young children who are seeking to access early childhood education programs and resources. To conduct this assessment, TFEC engaged four community partners who worked to gather community educators, local and regional stakeholders, and familial caregivers whose pre-school aged children were not currently accessing services or who had recently experienced challenges while attempting to access services. The four Phase One community partners and grantees included the Lebanon Valley Family YMCA, Perry County Literacy Council, The Salvation Army Harrisburg Capital City Region, and the YWCA Carlisle. In conjunction with the four grantees, TFEC collaborated with School Readiness Consulting to conduct an in-depth needs assessment that documented the existing opportunities along with the challenges faced by families with young children accessing early childhood education, including cultural, economic, and geographic barriers.

As a result of this study, TFEC is pleased to present the findings of its Early Childhood Needs Assessment, and introduce a new correlating grant opportunity, The Early Childhood Strategic Initiative: Phase Two, during two community presentations to be held from 8-10am on March 6, 2017 and March 7, 2017. Both community presentations are open to the public, registration is recommended; click here for more information or to register.

Phase Two

Phase Two of the Early Childhood Strategic Initiative will directly serve to act upon the results discovered and recommendations made in conjunction with Phase One, and will take the form of a four-year grant designed to connect families to early childhood services and resources by ensuring that quality early childhood services and resources exist and are accessible to children and their families, educators, and the greater community. Within Phase Two of the Early Childhood Strategic Initiative, four grant awards will be made and those awarded grants will receive 4 years of funding: $25,000 in Year 1; $15,000 in Year 2; $10,000 in Year 3; and $5,000 in Year 4. Phase One and Phase Two of the Early Childhood Strategic Initiative are made possible by TFEC’s regional foundation, the Greater Harrisburg Foundation. To apply, eligible organizations must submit a Letter of Intent by April 15, 2017. Letter of Intent Guidelines will be available on the TFEC website beginning March 1, 2017. Upon review of all submissions, selected applicants will be invited to complete a full application to be released June 1, 2017 with a deadline of August 1, 2017. Notification of grant awards will be made in December 2017. All grant activities must take place during the calendar years of 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Organizations eligible to apply will serve individuals in the central Pennsylvania counties of Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, Perry and the Dillsburg Area or Northern York County. Applicants must either be a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, or have a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization act as a fiscal sponsor for the proposed project.

Organizations interested in applying for Phase Two of the Early Childhood Strategic Initiative can get more information on our grants overview page.