Grants Available for Early Childhood Education Research in Southcentral Pennsylvania

The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC) President and CEO Janice R. Black today announced a new grant opportunity, Early Childhood Education Strategic Initiative that is available through TFEC’s regional foundation, the Greater Harrisburg Foundation.

The Early Childhood Education Strategic Grantmaking Initiative focuses 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.

The overall mission of this new initiative is to invest in programs that help empower parents as their child’s first teacher and prepare their children for Kindergarten if they are unable to access other pre-school services. Parent education serves and strengthens the whole family, especially those at risk due to poverty, limited education or access to affordable pre-school programs.

The initial phase of grantmaking will involve pilot research to determine programmatic priorities, TFEC will support organizations that have existing connections to and can readily assemble parents who fit most or all of the requirements of the target audience of the initiative, as follows:

·         Have children 3 to 5-years-old who are not currently enrolled in preschool education. Children may have a stay-at-home parent, be in an informal child care arrangement, or on waiting lists for existing preschool programs,

·         Families with barriers to accessing formal or affordable preschool; or

·         Families who lack support or resources to prepare their children for kindergarten and elementary school.

Those awarded grants will identify and bring together a significant number of parents who meet the above target audience characteristics. The grantees are expected to work collaboratively with a team of facilitators and researchers identified by TFEC. Ultimately, feedback from parents will drive future investments in programs and services.

Organizations eligible to apply will reside in the central Pennsylvania counties of Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, Perry and the Dillsburg Area or Northern York County. Grants of $5,000 – $10,000 will be made in two to three communities in TFEC’s service area in the initial phase of the initiative; however TFEC plans to expand to more locations once pilot research is finalized.

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.

Applications must be submitted by Nov. 15, 2015. Notification of grant awards will be made in December 2015. Organizations interested in applying should visit to learn how to apply and review the grant guidelines.