Children, Families, and Communities: Early Learning

David and Lucile Packard Foundation

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Deadline: Rolling

Grant amount: US $10,000 - US $900,000

Fields of work: Education - Preschool / Early Learning

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

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Note:  In a typical year, about 15 percent of our grants are awarded to first-time grantees and less than one percent come from unsolicited proposals. This program is not accepting unsolicited proposals, but welcomes your ideas for funding requests.

Children, Families, and Communities

All children should have access to health and early learning opportunities that help them be healthy, ready for school, and on track to reach their full potential.

The foundations for a lifetime of health and learning are built in the first five years of a child’s life, and adults are key to making these foundations strong.

When adults know how to support a child’s healthy development and can create experiences for learning, children grow up with the curiosity and confidence they need to succeed in school and life.

Many different adults matter to a child’s growth—from parents to child care providers, educators, and health care professionals. They all play an important role in nurturing a child’s development, learning, and health.

We can help children have a strong start in life by ensuring that all the adults in their lives are equipped with the best information, coaching, resources, and support they need to help the children in their care grow and thrive.

Focus Area: Early Learning

Education doesn’t start in kindergarten. Parents, caregivers, and educators encourage children to learn long before they start school. We help all adults prepare children for a life of learning.

Our Early Learning strategy aims to ensure that all infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are ready for kindergarten by age five.

To do this, the Packard Foundation supports organizations working to improve training and professional development for early childhood educators and caregivers, and provide parents, extended family members, and informal caregivers with the information, coaching, and support they seek to create environments where children can learn, grow, and thrive.

We also partner with California communities to test new approaches to strengthen and unify local early learning systems, and explore ways to scale what works statewide.

And, we support smart policies, services, and programs that help create the best learning environment for California’s young children.

We are working to:

  • Support local, state, and federal policies that ensure kids are able to show up to preschool and kindergarten ready to learn, and educators in every environment are able to connect with and help students learn and develop.
  • Promote educator preparation programs that help teachers talk with parents, improve learning and classroom environments, and help young children grow.
  • Build and improve professional development programs that help child care providers and educators plan for and support children’s learning and development as they grow.
  • Support local, state, and federal policies that guarantee parents can send their children to a first-rate preschool.
  • Connect parents and caregivers with information on how to create quality early learning experiences.
  • Support research and evaluation on practices that best support children’s growth and share the results.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Grants are made only for charitable, educational, or scientific purposes, primarily from tax-exempt charitable organizations.


  • The Packard Foundation does not fund the following:
    • Lobbying and activities to influence specific legislation
    • Conference fees and tuition assistance
    • Religious organizations
    • Individuals


This page was last reviewed June 23, 2021 and last updated June 23, 2021