Learning Spaces

IFF Learning Spaces aims to increase capacity and improve access to quality early childhood education (ECE) across the city of Detroit and the Midwest.

The free program offers community-based ECE providers:

  1. Technical assistance
  2. Grants and consulting services to improve ECE facilities and transform spaces into safe and inspiring learning environments, laying the foundation for positive early childhood experiences.

Given COVID-19 and its long-term implications, IFF experts are on the ground with Detroit-based ECE providers to assess facilities and provide funding to align with mandated state guidelines.


Providers are eligible if they have a three-star rating or higher in the Great Start to Quality rating system, have no current licensing infractions, have been in operation for a minimum of 2 years, and are interested in improving their program and facility quality.

For questions or assistance, please contact Francesca Lucido: gro.ffi@odiculf


Learning Spaces: Three Stories of Growth

This video highlights stories from three providers who have since graduated from the Learning Spaces program

Detroit’s Service Gap

Watch IFF’s video to learn more about Detroit’s early childhood care gap and what we can to do to address this challenge. IFF and funders collaborate closely with Hope Starts Here, which is a larger city-wide ECE initiative to broadly address and raise awareness to this issue.

Actionable Knowledge for ECE Providers

With support from The Kresge Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation, IFF and partners have worked to create various pieces of actionable knowledge for providers of early childhood education. Visit our Research and Evaluation page for previous reports.


The importance of facility quality in early education, by Model D Media

Big and small: Sharing early education wisdom from rural to urban communities
Model D Media, 7/23/2017

The high cost of limited access to early childhood education in Detroit
Model D, 7/10/2017

Prepared to learn: Why early education is so important for Michigan’s children
Model D, 6/26/2017

The positive signs, and challenges ahead, for early education in Detroit and Michigan
Model D, 6/19/2017

What Michigan can learn from Chicago about growing early childhood education
Model D Media, 5/8/2017

What will it take to make Detroit a “baby friendly” city?
Model D Media, 4/17/2017