Early Childhood Development
Valhalla’s goal is to dramatically improve kindergarten readiness in the U.S., so that all children—and particularly low-income children and children of color—get off to a strong start in learning and life.
Too many of our nation’s children, and particularly low-income children and children of color, start kindergarten behind where they need to be to learn and thrive. A study by the Brookings Institute concluded than only half (48%) of low-income children are ready for school at age five, compared to 75% of children from families with moderate and high income, a 27-percentage-point gap.
of low-income children are ready for school at age five
compared to 75% of children from families with moderate and high income
Valhalla Foundation funds proven solutions, research, and field-building efforts that aim to close these gaps and help all children enter kindergarten ready to learn.
We fund solutions that meaningfully improve outcomes that matter for kindergarten readiness, proven in rigorous studies with a control group, and that are scalable such that they can grow to impact hundreds of thousands of children in need with credible sources of sustainable revenue. See our grantee spotlights on Waterford Upstart, Centering Healthcare Institute, and Family Connects for examples.
We fund research efforts that increase knowledge of what works to improve kindergarten readiness – so that practitioners and policy-makers can adopt those solutions. Examples include the CAPER Study at the University of Chicago’s Behavioral Insights and Parenting Lab and Baby’s First Years.
"The early childhood investments we make today in disadvantaged young children promote social mobility, create opportunity, and foster a vibrant, healthy, and inclusive society and economy."
James J. Heckman, Nobel Laureate in Economics
Helping all children develop the foundational literacy and math skills they need to be ready for kindergarten.
Centering Healthcare Institute
Improving parenting behaviors and child outcomes through its group-based approach to prenatal and pediatric care.
Strengthening health outcomes and community connections for newborns and their families through postpartum nurse home visits.
Our Early Childhood Development Portfolio
All Our Kin
Training, supporting, and sustaining family child care providers
Alliance for Early Success
Working to achieve equitable state early childhood policies that support young children and their families
Building better and brighter futures for underserved families through education programs that meet families where they are
Baby’s First Years
Exploring the connections between poverty reduction and brain development among young children
Centering Healthcare Institute
Improving health, transforming care, and disrupting inequitable systems through the Centering group model
Code for America
Using technology and human-centered design to improve public services that reduce poverty and advance equity
Making it easy for anyone to help a teacher in need
Global Scales of Early Development Project at the University of Nebraska Medical Center
Advancing population-level measures of early childhood development
IMPACT Measures Tool by EC PRISM
Providing a database of early childhood and parenting measures and educational tools that improve the quantity and quality of measurement in the field
Connecting parents of newborns to the community resources they need through postpartum nurse home visits
First Five Years Fund
Advocating for and advancing federal investment in early childhood education for children in under-resourced communities from birth to age five
Transforming the promise of pediatric primary care
The Hunt Institute
Bringing together people and resources to inspire and inform elected officials and policymakers about issues in education
Transforming children's futures through early talk technology and data-driven programs
Providing a tablet-based early math program that prepares young children for lifelong success
Empowering first-time moms to transform their lives and create better futures for themselves and their babies
ParentCorps transforms the pre-K experience in historically disinvested neighborhoods by helping schools partner with families to build a future where all children thrive
Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center
Translating the science of the developing child into the most effective policy actions and public investments for states
Promise Venture Studio
Helping entrepreneurs in the early childhood sector reach greater scale and impact
Providing a text-based family engagement solution that increases literacy skills in young children
Driving student success by using accessible technology to unlock the potential of family engagement - especially in under-resourced communities
Too Small To Fail
Surrounding families with early learning opportunities and partnering to prepare young children for success in kindergarten and beyond
Partnering with families, educators, and communities to help every child build the skills they need to succeed in school and in life
An ecosystem of decentralized Montessori micro-schools that give all children and families the opportunity to choose high quality, beautiful learning environments