Our Grants


The submission deadline for this opportunity is now closed.

The Early Educator Investment Collaborative announces six award recipients in support of partnerships of institutions of higher education (IHEs) and states/territories/tribal nations to transform their preparation programs for early educators, break down systemic barriers to education for people of color, and increase financial assistance and compensation for students studying to be early educators. The grants, totaling $10.4 million, will strengthen programs that prepare early care and education (ECE) teachers through a competency-based bachelor’s degree. The grantees 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 new grantees are as follows:

  • California State University, Sacramento: To engage a coalition of CSU campuses, community colleges, state agencies, and provider partners to revise the current ECE lead teacher curriculum with an emphasis on supporting Dual Language Learners, develop an ECE program of study peer review process, develop and pilot an observation-based competency-assessment tool, and address workforce diversity, compensation, and related issues.
  • College of Menominee Nation: To offer a continuum of educational pathways, create a culturally responsive induction program, expand the array of course delivery options, and incorporate supports such as tutoring, counseling, and mentoring to improve ECE program delivery.
  • Georgia State University: To create career pathways to increase the quantity and quality of culturally and linguistically diverse, appropriately compensated ECE professionals and augment a professional development partnership model to leverage the expertise of experienced teachers, and train novice education professionals through shared goals, professional mentorship, and collaborative strategies.
  • North Seattle College: To augment its associate and bachelor’s degree ECE programs by offering certificates in Spanish, Arabic, and Somali, focusing on anti-bias education, piloting community-based cohorts for ECE providers across the state, and creating supported education pathways for the workforce, from entry level through graduate school.
  • University of Colorado Denver: To facilitate a coalition of IHEs in Colorado that fosters systems reforms that address access to and quality of degrees, engages in research related to ECE workforce preparation, and influences policy change within and across multiple state agencies specific to teacher credentialing and licensure, credit for prior learning, and compensation.
  • University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa: To build the capacity of Hawaiʻi’s ECE teacher preparation and career pathways, including accessible competency-based bachelor’s and associate degree programs linked to coordinated student support innovations and a plan for competitive compensation for lead teachers.

Download the grant announcement press release to learn more.

Transforming ECE Lead Teacher Preparation Programs Grant Opportunity: Applicant Overview


For the March 2020 submission deadline for letters of intent (LOIs) for this opportunity, the Collaborative received 51 LOIs from more than 35 states, territories, and Tribal Nations. This far exceeded our expectations and demonstrated a strong desire for transforming early educator preparation across the country. From this initial applicant pool, the Collaborative worked with an external review committee and invited 29 applicants to submit full proposals, based on the assessment criteria outlined in the call for LOIs. Nearly half of the applicants advancing to the proposal phase have lead applicant IHEs that are minority-serving institutions (MSIs), many of whom serve multiple student populations. MSIs advancing to the proposal stage include:

  • Alaska Native-Serving and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions
  • Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions
  • Hispanic-Serving Institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Native American-Serving Non-Tribal Institutions
  • Predominantly Black Institutions
  • Tribal Colleges and Universities

More information about the applicants who submitted LOIs and the applicants advancing to the proposal phase is depicted in the infographic on the page.

Overview of the Opportunity

Through this opportunity, the Collaborative seeks to elevate the ECE workforce and break down systemic barriers to higher education, particularly for early educators of color. People of color, primarily women, make up nearly half of the ECE workforce and yet are not provided equal access to higher education, ongoing professional development, or professional compensation.

The Collaborative invited institutions to develop ideas for transforming early educator preparation programs across the continuum of educator preparation, including not but limited to:

  • Recruitment and retention of racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse students;
  • Curricula informed by recent developmental science of child development and adult learning, and that are culturally responsive in nature;
  • High-quality, clinically based practicum experience across a variety of ECE settings;
  • Induction supports provided in the early years of teaching;
  • Financial supports for educators to access and complete a higher education program, including paid release time; and
  • A proposed or piloted strategy to increase financial assistance, remuneration, and compensation across an individual’s educational and career pathway as a student and teacher.

The Collaborative sought to prioritize applicants that demonstrated they are meaningfully serving students who bring racial, ethnic, linguistic, or socioeconomic diversity to the field, and that they are preparing educators to serve an equally diverse student population. This includes prioritizing lead applicant IHEs that are MSIs. The Collaborative also prioritized applicants who partnered with two-year, community college IHEs or whose proposed approach included a detailed and viable plan for doing so.

Funding Timeline

The Collaborative set a September 2020 proposal submission deadline and notified selected grantees in December 2020.

The Collaborative thanks all applicants for their time and effort in developing applications in both the LOI and full application stages. We look forward to sharing further updates with the field as the work progresses.

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