Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Early Educator Investment Collaborative?

We are a group of early childhood funders working together to advance the highest standards of educator quality—and make them possible through equitable access to teacher preparation, ongoing professional learning, and compensation that reflects the transformational value of early educators.

What does The Collaborative hope to accomplish?

We aim to prevent and help close the achievement gap that opens when children don’t have access to quality educators. Our goal is to ensure that every child, parent, and community has access to professional early childhood educators who are equipped with a defined set of effective skills and competencies—and who receive the preparation, support, and compensation necessary to stay in the profession.

How will you accomplish your goals?

We bring together early educators, advocates, policymakers, and higher education to think big, establish the ideal, and align resources to elevate all who are critical to helping our children reach their full potential. That means changing the current system by setting standards for educator competencies informed by research that lead to positive child outcomes, creating equitable and affordable access to teacher preparation and professional development, and increasing the compensation of all early educators to elevate the profession and reflect the importance and expertise of the profession.

How are educator qualifications and compensation related to child outcomes?

Helping all early educators achieve their full potential as professionals helps us prepare all children for success in school and life. Well-prepared and supported educators and caregivers are essential for helping parents develop the potential in their young children, and it is essential that all families have equal access to high-quality educators.

Who is involved with The Collaborative?

Funders and an Advisory Committee of experts, with deep experience in early childhood education. The Collaborative’s Contributing Funders that serve on the Steering Committee are: Ballmer Group, Bezos Family Foundation, Buffett Early Childhood Fund, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Foundation for Child Development, Heising-Simons Foundation, and Stranahan Foundation. Our Partner Funders that support the work of thefund are: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Early Educator Investment Collaborative established an Expert Advisory Committee (EAC) of content experts and leaders in the field of early care and education to inform and advise the Steering Committee, make the Steering Committee aware of existing or emerging efforts in the field that are complementary to The Collaborative, and recommend research and projects that may be needed to advance The Collaborative’s vision and goals. Members of the EAC currently include: LaRue Allen, Sue Bredekamp, Sherry Cleary, Linda Espinosa, Sharon Lynn Kagan, Marjorie Kostelnik, Scott Moore, Rick Noriega, and Yvonne Smith.

The Collaborative is fiscally sponsored by TSNE, an organization that provides grants and financial management, consulting, and training services to strengthen nonprofits.

Who are you engaging in this effort?

All those necessary to change the system for the better: the early childhood community at-large, professional associations, higher education, researchers, advocacy groups, and policymakers. Our Expert Advisory Committee provides recommendations, insights, and feedback to guide our work.

We are a collaborative striving to create ideal conditions for children and their early educators. As a funder collaborative, we can support existing efforts while also moving ahead with a comprehensive, systems-change approach that no one funder or stakeholder could bring forward alone.

What projects are funded by The Collaborative and how can I apply for a grant?

Our grant-making strategies are guided by the need to actualize the recommendations in The Institute of Medicine’s report, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation, and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s report, Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education. The Collaborative does not accept unsolicited proposals. Proposals for funding will only be considered if invited to submit by The Collaborative.

How can new funders get involved?

Funders looking to join the effort should contact us at

Who is the media point of contact?

For more information about The Collaborative, please contact