Leveling the Playing Field

The Value of Investing in Early Childhood Practice, Policy, and Knowledge

Jessie Rasmussen, president of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, describes how the Fund and seven other national funders seek to achieve better outcomes for vulnerable young children and their families by co-investing in early childhood practice, policy, and knowledge in their home states and across America.

Built upon a variety of partnerships, this pan-philanthropic strategy seeks to:

  • Create and sustain a coast-to-coast network of well-implemented, well-evaluated Educare schools;
  • Better inform state and federal public policy decision-making through the Alliance for Early Success and the First Five Years Fund; and
  • Deepen society's understanding of the science of early childhood by investing in the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, the work of Nobel Laureate in economics Dr. James Heckman, the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina, and other research institutions.

Nebraska, the home state of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, offers a compelling case study of how partnerships and integrated investments in practice, policy, and knowledge can shift the odds so more vulnerable families with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers grow up healthy, eager to learn, ready for school and inspired with hope. Reflecting upon $130 million worth of investments from Buffett Early Childhood Fund alone, this paper concludes with 10 recommendations for the Commission’s consideration.

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