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Early Educator Investment Collaborative Awards $10.4 Million in Grants for Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Programs Across the U.S.

June 3, 2021 GMT
Early Educator Investment Collaborative
Early Educator Investment Collaborative
Early Educator Investment Collaborative

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Early Educator Investment Collaborative announced $10.4 million in awards to support partnerships of institutes of higher education (IHEs) and states or tribal nations in transforming their early educator preparation programs.

The grants will elevate the early care and education (ECE) workforce while breaking down barriers in higher education for students of color and achieving professional compensation.

“Innovative partnerships between colleges, universities, and states and tribal nations are critical to ensure that teacher preparation pathways are effectively linked to requirements for teacher preparation and compensation,” said Dr. Ola J. Friday, Director of the Early Educator Investment Collaborative. “Institutes of higher education can help inform policymakers’ thinking about culturally responsive, competency-based, and community-designed equitable policies for the early care and education workforce.”


People of color, primarily women, make up nearly half of the ECE workforce but are not provided equal access to higher education, ongoing professional development, or professional compensation in comparison to their peers in K-12. A patchwork of federal, state, and local ECE programs vary in purpose, funding, and quality. These structural insufficiencies affect the workforce overall and educators of color disproportionately, directly impacting the learning outcomes of children.

These grants support partnerships to catalyze change in educator preparation and compensation. Grantees will strengthen programs that prepare ECE teachers through a competency-based bachelor’s degree. They also link to state or tribal nation efforts to increase funding for ECE students and compensation for teachers post-graduation.

The Collaborative prioritized IHEs that are minority-serving institutions (MSIs), those that partner with two-year community colleges, and applicants that offered detailed and viable plans. The grantees are as follows:

  • California State University, Sacramento
  • College of Menominee Nation
  • Georgia State University
  • North Seattle College
  • University of Colorado Denver
  • University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa


The Collaborative, created in 2017, includes the Ballmer Group, Bezos Family Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Buffett Early Childhood Fund,David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Foundation for Child Development, Heising-Simons Foundation, and Stranahan Foundation.

“We hope that through these grants we can provide models for other institutions of higher education, policymakers, and funders,” said Dr. Sara Vecchiotti, Vice President of the Foundation for Child Development and co-chair of the Early Educator Investment Collaborative. “We need a systems-wide shift in how we think about and implement early childhood educator preparation in this country.”

About Early Educator Investment Collaborative
Our goal is to help all early educators achieve their potential as professionals to ensure that each child is prepared for success in school and life. We are working to link early educator professional competencies with professional compensation and to transform the preparation of early education.

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SOURCE Early Educator Investment Collaborative