Early Childhood Development

Beginning 2023, the following changes regarding Buell Foundation funding have been implemented:

  • Applications for child care centers that serve fewer than 15% enrollment of low-income families will no longer be considered. THBF definitions for low-income by county can be found here.
  • Applications for organizations that have operating reserves greater than nine months will no longer be considered. Operating reserves are generally calculated by dividing net current assets into annual operating budget.
  • Given budgetary restrictions, programs in the following areas will no longer be eligible for funding: nutrition & physical activity, book distribution, children’s museums, and certain parent information and support programs. At this time, the Foundation will only consider longer duration parenting information programs with active participation (i.e., parenting education classes, home visitation programs, etc.).

The Foundation will consider proposals in the following areas that directly support the healthy development of very young children between the ages of zero and five:

  • Assessment and evaluation – We support a variety of assessments used to gauge the effectiveness of programs and progress of program participants. This may include process/fidelity measures as well as outcome measures (e.g. Teaching Strategies GOLD, Adult-Adolescent Parenting Index, Social Competence Scale, etc.).
  • Behavior and social competence – We support direct programming as well as consultation in early learning settings with a focus on the promotion and prevention levels of behavioral health.
  • Capital – We support a range of capital improvements at licensed child care centers. We support smaller scale improvements (e.g. playgrounds, materials, fixtures) as well as large building projects (e.g. purchase and renovation of a building).
  • Early childhood and preschool programs – We support licensed child care centers and preschools that have a commitment to quality improvement and serving children from diverse populations. We also support the early learning components of community-based programs, such as family literacy.
  • Home visitation – We support evidence-based and evidence-informed home visiting programs with a focus on supporting positive parenting skills and increased knowledge about child development.
  • Improvements directly related to quality – We support ongoing quality improvement of all programs. This includes funding for materials, additional staff, coaching, and quality ratings.
  • Parenting education – We support evidence-based and evidence-informed parenting education programs with a focus on supporting positive parenting skills and increased knowledge about child development.
  • Professional development and education – We support projects that facilitate early childhood professionals’ access to college-level coursework, mentoring, or community-based trainings.

If you have any questions about the types of programs that we fund, please call the Program Officer for your region.