Early Childhood Education

IFF is committed to increasing access to high-quality early childhood education (ECE) for all children by creating and supporting safe and inspiring spaces, especially in communities where it is most needed. We partner with early childhood providers, government, philanthropy, and local stakeholders to strengthen ECE programs across the Midwest.

Programs and Initiatives

Learning Spaces

Location: Detroit & Grand Rapids

Learning Spaces

IFF Learning Spaces is a grant program designed to increase capacity and improve access to quality early childhood education across the City of Detroit. Providers can receive technical assistance, consulting services, and grants to improve facility quality.

Quality Facilities For All

Location: Illinois (statewide)

Quality Facilities For All

IFF’s Quality Facilities for All is dedicated to the expansion, enhancement, and stabilization of infant and toddler programs in high-need communities across Illinois. Participants can receive grants for facility quality enhancement or expansion, leadership and professional development opportunities, and technical assistance on capital grant applications.

Thriving Spaces Milwaukee

Location: Milwaukee

Three children at a table

Thriving Spaces Milwaukee

IFF’s Thriving Spaces Milwaukee program aims to increase capacity and improve access to quality early childhood education (ECE) by improving and expanding ECE facilities across three Milwaukee neighborhoods – Brewer’s Hill, Halyard Park, and Harambee.

Caring for MI Future: Facilities Improvement Fund

Location: Michigan (statewide)

Related Project
Early Childhood Education Classroom

Caring for MI Future: Facilities Improvement Fund

Caring for MI Future: Facilities Improvement Fund is a grant program to distribute $50 million to new and expanding child care education providers across the state of Michigan in order to renovate and upgrade their child care facilities, especially in geographic areas with limited providers.

Marygrove Early Education Center

Location: Detroit

Related Project
Marygrove Early Education Center

Marygrove Early Education Center

The Marygrove Early Education Center is by Detroit, for Detroit, to demonstrate the transformative potential of quality early education facilities in Detroit.

Hope Starts Here

Location: Detroit

Related Project

Hope Starts Here

Founded in 2016 by The Kresge and W.K. Kellogg foundations to make Detroit a city that puts children first by 2027, Hope Starts Here connects and mobilizes resources across Detroit and Wayne County to support Detroit’s young children, their parents, and guardians, by focusing on six led by community champions.

IFF also provides flexible financing, real estate consulting, and development to further support ECE providers.

Knowledge Sharing

Video: What does it mean to have a high-quality space?

Optimized square footage, thoughtful layout, indoor air quality, designated wet/dry areas, incorporated toilet rooms — these are just some of the factors related to creating a high-quality space for children to learn and develop. This video contains actionable knowledge for ECE providers looking to create or renovate their space.

Video: How to Find a Location for Your Facility

Where to locate and whether to lease or purchase are big decisions for early care and education providers looking to open or relocate a facility. This video contains actionable knowledge for ECE providers to find the right fit for them — one that puts children and families first.

Video: Research Shows ChildCare Gap in Detroit

Detroit has a shortage of 28,000 quality early education slots. Watch IFF’s video to learn more about the city’s child care gap and what we can to do to address this challenge.

Video: About IFF’s Quality Facilities for All Program

Learn more about QFA, an IFF initiative to expand and/or stabilize infant and toddler care programs in high-need communities and neighborhoods in Illinois.

Click here for additional research studies on early childhood education

Thought Leadership

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