Heising-Simons Foundation: Grants for Early Childhood Education

OVERVIEW: The Heising-Simons Foundation supports climate and clean energy, education, human rights, local and emerging opportunities and science. Early childhood is the focus of its education program, which supports early math, dual language learning and family engagement initiatives, as well as research and advocacy for early childhood programming in the U. S.

IP TAKE: The Heising-Simons Foundation's education program aims to improve programming in the areas of early math, dual language learning and family engagement. It also supports research and advocacy for early childhood programming. This funder works mainly with established organizations that are "at the forefront of their fields." It does not accept unsolicited proposals.

PROFILE: The Heising-Simons Foundation was established in 2007 by Mark Heising, a computer chip design engineer who holds six U.S. patents, and his wife, Liz Simons, an educator. The foundation is based in Los Altos, California, and aims to "advance sustainable solutions in climate and clean energy, enable groundbreaking research in science, enhance the education of our youngest learners and support human rights for all people." Its funding programs are climate and clean energy, education, human rights, local and emerging opportunities and science.

The focus of the foundation's education funding is "to prepare children from birth through age eighth for school and life." Its priorities include "overlooked components of quality early education including early math; family engagement; and dual language learning." The foundation also invests in early childhood education research and advocacy. Heising-Simons has supported the Reach out and Read organization's launch of an early math program in multiple regions in the U.S., and the New America Foundation's Dual Language Learner National Work Group. Another grantee, the Research Foundation of the City of New York, used funding to run a professional development institute for early childhood educators. 

Heising-Simons grants generally range from $200,000 to over $1 million, but smaller grants have also been awarded. The foundation does not set geographic limitations to its funding. A complete database of grants is available at the foundation's website.

The Heising-Simons Foundation supports "organizations and institutions and the forefront of their fields" and does not accept unsolicited proposals. General inquiries may be made via the foundation's contact page.

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