Grants for Preschools
501(c)(3) Grants for Preschools and Early Childhood Education in the United States
Are you looking for grants to support preschools or general early childhood education? Then this list is for you! This compiled list of grants will help you start finding funding for your 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We've even included grants for private preschools.
Read more about each grant by clicking into them below, or start your 14-day free trial of Instrumentl to get active grant opportunities that match your specific programs and organization.
Charles Lafitte Foundation
Established CLF in 1999, The Charles Lafitte Foundation (CLF) supports innovative and effective ways of helping people help themselves and others around them to achieve healthy, satisfying and enriched lives.
Diverse in scope, The Charles Lafitte Foundation (CLF) supports four primary causes: education, children’s advocacy, medical research & initiatives, and the arts. The foundation is flexible in its approach, sometimes giving a one-time grant to initiate a specific project while also making annual contributions.
It looks for a solid track record of setting and meeting objectives, and an inventive approach to problem solving. Understanding the tremendous personal satisfaction derived from volunteering and giving back, CLF hosts annual events such as its golf tournament, with all donations plus a match by the foundation benefiting a single charity.
Education empowers individuals to find solutions, improving not only their own life but the lives around them.
Learning, a lifelong quest, is the foundation of all knowledge and skills. Through education, we can tackle larger social issues and foster responsible citizenship. CLF helps individuals gain access to schools, from preschool through college, by issuing grants and taking an active role in exploring new approaches to education.
Ways to improve teaching results include providing computer-based and technological education, promoting leadership skills, and offering programs about the arts. In addition, opportunities for ongoing education, such as research projects and conferences, promote continuing education as a goal for people of all ages.
Within the CLF education initiatives, we support programs that:
- Aid students with learning disabilities
- Target at-risk populations and integrate all learners
- Provide equal access
- Offer quality programming using innovative methods
- Apply data-driven approaches
- Educate the whole child
Children’s advocacy nurtures and protects the most innocent.
Bettering the lives of children is central to CLF’s purpose. Ultimately, the goal is to help children reach their fullest potential, which means sufficient education, healthcare, shelter and care.
The foundation sponsors programs that mitigate the hardship that confronts and impedes too many children. This means targeting issues like child abuse, adequate foster housing, literacy and hunger.
Improving children’s education is essential to achieving positive outcomes for children and youth of all ages. It also creates communities where children and families can thrive. After-school programs enhance and strengthen the educational experience, helping to keep children in school, gain self-esteem and thrive.
We also encourage children to be their own advocates. Check out the Charles Lafitte Foundation Kid’s Corner.
Medical Research & Initiatives
Medical research and initiatives spawn breakthroughs in our understanding of wellness and allow us to proactively counter disease and suffering.
CLF supports and encourages health research and education, leading to better healthcare, disease prevention, and healthier lives. Through education, public awareness of basic wellness issues can be illuminated and healthy lifestyles and habits encouraged. The foundation looks for efforts that stress quality of life, including disease prevention, and often focuses on specific groups with serious and neglected problems.
Through research, medical advancements are explored and tested, resulting in the therapies and treatments of tomorrow. Other medical initiatives, such as long-term patient housing and palliative care, require serious attention and solutions.
The arts enrich minds and stimulate the human spirit.
Exposure to the arts is vital to fostering and sustaining healthy communities. With diminished civic support and declining patronage, most arts organizations are increasingly challenged. Innovation, creativity, initiative, and risk taking are intrinsic to artistic expression, inspiring audiences to dig deeper into their personal potential and freeing minds to contemplate dreams.
CLF goals for arts funding include:
- cultivating new talent
- supporting established artists
- providing educational programs that encourage children’s creativity
- furthering equal access to the arts
- establishing therapeutic arts programs
Giving is personal for the Charles Lafitte Foundation, as we reflect the values and imperatives of our founders, Jeffrey Citron and Suzanne Citron.
Every member of the foundation is involved in all of our work, including researching organizations, reviewing grant requests, determining programs, and evaluating outcomes. Every grant is carefully considered. We believe that with each grant CLF awards, we are taking one step closer to a better world.
- prefers underwriting specific projects with distinct goals, and targets grants that will have a notable impact and make a material difference
- looks for creativity, innovation and initiative
- promotes inclusiveness and diversity, and likes projects that remove barriers to full economic and/or social participation in society
- engages with its beneficiaries and requires follow-up reports and impact statements
- reviews financials carefully and prefers organizational overhead costs to account for less than 15% of annual expenses
- looks to empower organizations to achieve long term stability
- does not usually support political organizations or religious-based programs
- believes in a commonsense, business-like approach to addressing humane problems.
David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Note: In a typical year, about 15 percent of our grants are awarded to first-time grantees and less than one percent come from unsolicited proposals. This program is not accepting unsolicited proposals, but welcomes your ideas for funding requests.
Children, Families, and Communities
All children should have access to health and early learning opportunities that help them be healthy, ready for school, and on track to reach their full potential.
The foundations for a lifetime of health and learning are built in the first five years of a child’s life, and adults are key to making these foundations strong.
When adults know how to support a child’s healthy development and can create experiences for learning, children grow up with the curiosity and confidence they need to succeed in school and life.
Many different adults matter to a child’s growth—from parents to child care providers, educators, and health care professionals. They all play an important role in nurturing a child’s development, learning, and health.
We can help children have a strong start in life by ensuring that all the adults in their lives are equipped with the best information, coaching, resources, and support they need to help the children in their care grow and thrive.
Focus Area: Early Learning
Education doesn’t start in kindergarten. Parents, caregivers, and educators encourage children to learn long before they start school. We help all adults prepare children for a life of learning.
Our Early Learning strategy aims to ensure that all infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are ready for kindergarten by age five.
To do this, the Packard Foundation supports organizations working to improve training and professional development for early childhood educators and caregivers, and provide parents, extended family members, and informal caregivers with the information, coaching, and support they seek to create environments where children can learn, grow, and thrive.
We also partner with California communities to test new approaches to strengthen and unify local early learning systems, and explore ways to scale what works statewide.
And, we support smart policies, services, and programs that help create the best learning environment for California’s young children.
We are working to:
- Support local, state, and federal policies that ensure kids are able to show up to preschool and kindergarten ready to learn, and educators in every environment are able to connect with and help students learn and develop.
- Promote educator preparation programs that help teachers talk with parents, improve learning and classroom environments, and help young children grow.
- Build and improve professional development programs that help child care providers and educators plan for and support children’s learning and development as they grow.
- Support local, state, and federal policies that guarantee parents can send their children to a first-rate preschool.
- Connect parents and caregivers with information on how to create quality early learning experiences.
- Support research and evaluation on practices that best support children’s growth and share the results.
Lois Lenski Covey Foundation
The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation
The purposes of The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation are to advance literacy and foster a love of reading among underserved and at-risk children and youth.Lois Lenski, celebrated author and illustrator of over one hundred children's books and the 1946 Newbery medalist for Strawberry Girl, established the Foundation as a charitable institute 50 years ago. Since then the Foundation has assisted over 400 organizations in their efforts to nurture reading skills, gain access to books, and instill a love of reading.Bookmobile Grant Program Lois Lenski, children’s book author and 1946 Newbery medalist for Strawberry Girl, had a life-long concern that all children have access to good books. Toward that end, the Foundation provides grants to bookmobile programs that serve children from disadvantaged populations.The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation awards grants to organizations that operate a lending bookmobile that travels into neighborhoods populated by underserved youth. The grants are for purchasing books published for young people preschool through grade 8. Bookmobiles operated by charitable [501(c)(3)] and other non-taxable agencies, including public libraries or schools, are eligible. The Foundation provides grants to organizations that serve economically or socially at-risk children, have limited book budgets, and demonstrate real need.Grants range from $500 to $3000 and are specifically for book purchases, and cannot be used for administrative or operational uses.Purpose of the GrantsThe bookmobile grant program provides grants for purchasing children’s fiction or non-fiction books. The books are to be available for checkout by young people for pleasure reading or, perhaps, as a source of information for a school assignment.
Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood
Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood
The Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood is an incubator of promising research and development projects that appear likely to improve the welfare of young children, from infancy through 7 years, in the United States. Welfare is broadly defined to include physical and mental health, safety, nutrition, education, play, familial support, acculturation, societal integration and childcare.
Grants are only made if a successful project outcome will likely be of significant interest to other professionals, within the grantee’s field of endeavor, and would have a direct benefit and potential national application. The Foundation’s goal is to provide seed money to implement those imaginative proposals that exhibit the greatest chance of improving the lives of young children, on a national scale. Because of the Foundation’s limited funding capability, it seeks to maximize a grant's potential impact.
The Foundation provides funding in the following areas
Early Childhood Welfare
Children can only reach their full potential when all aspects of their intellectual, emotional and physical development are optimally supported.
Providing a safe and nurturing environment is essential as is imparting the skills of social living in a culturally diverse world. Therefore, the Foundation 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.
Early Childhood Education and Play
Research shows that children need to be stimulated as well as nurtured, early in life, if they are to succeed in school, work and life. That preparation relates to every aspect of a child’s development, from birth to age seven, and everywhere a child learns – at home, in childcare settings and in preschool.
We seek to improve the quality of both early childhood teaching and learning, through the development of innovative curricula and research based pedagogical standards, as well as the design of imaginative play materials and learning environments.
To help parents create nurturing environments for their children, we support programs that teach parents about developmental psychology, cultural child rearing differences, pedagogy, issues of health, prenatal care and diet, as well as programs which provide both cognitive and emotional support to parents.
Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes
Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities.
Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program
The Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program provides small grants for youth-centered efforts to establish and maintain native plant landscape learning environments.
The funds are designated for acquiring native plants and seeds for outdoor learning areas that engage youth (preschool to high school) directly in planning, planting and caring for native plant gardens. Examples include
- pollinator gardens,
- rain gardens to improve water quality,
- tall grass prairies,
- native plant monarch way stations featuring citizen science activities
- sensory and natural playgrounds.
Schools, nature center, after school care program, community center or youth group in need of funding for a native garden or habitat for hands-on learning are invited to apply. All public and private schools, non-profits such as nature centers, youth organizations and community youth centers in the US are welcome to apply so long as the project uses native plants or seeds to educate youth.
Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education (SFE) Fund
Since 1977, Wild Ones members have been working with schools and nature centers to grow natural landscapes at these centers of learning. Annual grants from the Wild Ones Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education (SFE) Fund are one way we foster such projects. Lorrie Otto, the inspirational leader for Wild Ones, is widely acknowledged as the heart of the natural landscape movement.
Project goals should focus on developing an appreciation for nature using native plants and natural landscapes. Projects must emphasize involvement by students and volunteers in all phases of development and must increase the site's educational value. Creativity in design is encouraged and must show complete and thoughtful planning. Use of, and teaching about, native plants and the native plant community is mandatory, and native plants selected must be appropriate to the local ecoregion and site conditions (soil, water, sunlight).
The USDA Plant Database helps to verify if particular native species have been recorded for your county.
Examples of appropriate projects include:
- pollinator gardens,
- rain gardens to improve water quality,
- tallgrass prairies,
- native plant monarch waystations featuring citizen science activities
- sensory and natural playgrounds.