Joyce Foundation: Grants for Early Childhood Education

OVERVIEW: The Joyce Foundation supports early childhood education organizations that ensure children's access to quality public education beginning at a young age.  

IP TAKE: This funder’s early childhood education grantmaking focuses on helping children from low-income communities.

PROFILE: Beatrice Joyce Kean founded the Joyce Foundation in 1948. When she passed in 1972, she left nearly $100 million of her estate to the foundation and by 1976, its grantmaking had increased from under $100,000 to $10 million. Today, the foundation operates six grant programs: culture, democracy, employment, education, gun violence prevention, and a special opportunities program.

Joyce’s kindergarten readiness strategy, a facet of its larger education program, supports organizations that “ensure that all children, especially children of color and from low-income families, are academically and developmentally ready to succeed when they enter kindergarten.”’ Kindergarten readiness grants typically range from $100,000 to $500,000. While Joyce awards grants to organizations located in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin, its early education grants prioritize organizations in Chicago, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis.

Past Joyce Foundation grantees include the New America Foundation, which received a grant for its work to improve the early childhood workforce in the Great Lakes Region. To get a broader sense of the types of early childhood education organizations Joyce supports, explore its grants database.

The Joyce Foundation accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry (LOI) throughout the year and recommends that applicants submit LOIs at least six to eight weeks before proposal deadlines.

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