Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood: Grants for Early Childhood Education

OVERVIEW: The Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood supports research and outreach in the areas of early childhood welfare, early childhood education and play and parenting education.

IP TAKE: Supporting early childhood welfare, early childhood education and play and parenting education, this funder accepts letters of inquiry for funding each year. Funding is limited to the U.S.

PROFILE: The Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood was established in 2014 with seed money from the estate of Theresa Caplan. Theresa and her husband, Frank, a co-founder of the Creative Playthings toy company, founded the Princeton Center for Infancy and Early Childhood in 1975, and together authored a series of bestselling books on child development in the 1970s. Based in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, this foundation "is an incubator of promising research and development projects that appear likely to improve the welfare of young children." Its funding areas are early childhood welfare, early childhood education and play and parenting education.

Caplan's early childhood welfare program "supports projects that seek to perfect child rearing practices and to identify models that can provide creative, caring environments in which all young children thrive." To this end, the foundation has funded a study of sleep deprivation and sleep hygiene at Hope College, in Holland Michigan. In the area of early childhood education and play, the foundation has partnered with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access to create a series of free printable card games that "engage children in examining, sorting, and classifying images of scientific specimens and historical artifacts." The foundation's parenting education program supports programs "that teach parents about developmental psychology, cultural child rearing differences, pedagogy, issues of health, prenatal care and diet, as well programs which provide both cognitive and emotional support to parents." One grantee in this area, the AJ Drexel Autism Institute, at Drexel University, used funding to run and evaluate a communication training program for parents of minimally verbal children on the autistic spectrum. 

The Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood limits its funding to programs operating in the United States. Grants generally range from $30,000 to $53,000. A list of current and past grantees is available on the foundation's website.

This funder accepts letters of inquiry via email and funding proposals by invitation only. Guidelines for letters of inquiry are provided on the website, and letters are generally due in the fall of each year.

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Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood