In July 2015, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust publicly launched Great Expectations and awarded its first set of grants. Since then, The Trust and MDC—Great Expectation’s Activating Agency—have been listening and learning from families and providers and developing grantmaking strategies that build on what we’ve learned. Great Expectations grantmaking is currently focused on three key areas: Early Intervention and Health, Access to Quality Childcare, and Birth to Eight Educational Alignment.
The Trust understands that a strong early childhood system has to be undergirded by certain practices and principles that are required for deep results. In addition to the funding priorities described above, the Trust is also interested in:
- System wide accountability and alignment: Strengthening agency-level data collection, analysis, and data-driven decision making, as well as lead to better data alignment and accountability across the system of early childhood services.
- Leveraging momentum toward scale: Focusing impact on areas where the community can, over time, achieve and sustain progress at scale, and leverage other system reform efforts at the local or state level, including areas where investment has been pledged by other local funders.
- Aligned communications: Integrating communications strategies to thoughtfully address alignment between messaging about early childhood issues and Great Expectations messaging and/or other strong messaging in the community will be integral
- Strengthening our work with and on behalf of the Latino community: Building capacity of Latino families and Latino-led early childhood initiatives.
- Family engagement: Elevating family voice, including involving families in program planning and decision-making related to the proposed project or initiative.
- Engaging unlikely partners: Engaging partners and voices that historically have not been involved in the work to improve the lives of financially-disadvantaged young children and their families. It will take all of us to help foster equity in our community—the health care sector, the faith community, business leaders as well as those who are working directly with educators, child care providers, and families.