Early Care & Education

Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative Announces RFP for 2020 Giving Cycle

Washington Area Women’s Foundation is pleased to release an open request for proposals for funding from the Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative for its 2020 Giving Cycle.

The Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative

The Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative (ECEFC), housed at Washington Area Women’s Foundation, launched in 2008 as a multi-year collective investment effort. Its mission is to increase the quality and capacity of, and access to, early care and education in the Washington region, with the goal of reducing school readiness gaps among populations of our youngest children. The ECEFC is supported and directed by corporate funders and local and national foundations. Our target geographic area includes Washington, DC; Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia; the City of Alexandria, Virginia; and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland.

2020 Giving Cycle

With the 2020 Giving Cycle the ECEFC will invest in organizations and/or organizational partnerships that contribute to systems change in the early care and education space while utilizing a racial equity framework and demonstrating a holistic view of child development.

Specifically, the ECEFC is committed to working on and investing in projects in the region that:

  • Improve early childhood systems infrastructure,
  • Work to ensure families have access to high quality early education programs, and
  • Help early educators effectively meet the needs of all children.

Examples of initiatives that are of interest to the ECEFC within each of the three strategic areas include:

  • Effective Systems
    • Early childhood systems alignment across health and education agencies,
    • Promotion of developmentally appropriate kindergarten readiness tools that include social-emotional development,
    • Increased financing of early education systems tied to program quality, family needs, and educator compensation,
  • Family Access
    • Expanding access to and/or increasing the value of child care subsidies to families,
    • Increasing the number of high-quality, culturally responsive early education classrooms and/or programs in high-need neighborhoods,
  • Strong Educators
    • Elevating the early care and education workforce through professionalization, professional development and technical assistance,
    • Lifting up the family child care community as important contributors to the early care and education system.

Successful proposals will demonstrate how their organization’s work or project will:

  • Contribute to quality improvements across multiple programs and/or multiple jurisdictions,
  • Increase program capacity to effectively support all children across multiple programs and/or multiple jurisdictions; and/or
  • Work to reduce barriers for families to access quality programs across neighborhoods and/or the region.

Successful proposals will also work to address disparate outcomes for children, families, and educators with regard to race and ethnicity and demonstrate how their organization’s work or project works to ensure race, culture, class, and ability equity across early education systems.

The ECEFC seeks to award $365,000 in grants this giving cycle to multiple projects across the DC region. Typically, the ECEFC awards between six to eight grants per giving cycle. The average grant awarded in last year’s cycle was $37,600.

All proposal submissions should be for a one-year grant period beginning January 1, 2020 and ending December 31, 2020.

2020 Funding Proposal

Prospective applicants are required to participate in one of two information session webinars prior to submitting a proposal. Use this link to sign up for one of the webinar sessions: [insert link].

Upon completion of the information session webinar, you will receive the application questions and guidelines and may submit your organization’s proposal for funding. Proposals can be submitted either by a single organization or as a partnership or collaboration across two or more organizations.

Grant Timeline

Applicant Information Session Webinars (Prospective applicants must attend one.) August 13th at 9:30 am or August 14th at 1:30 pm (Click here to RSVP for a session.)
Proposals Due September 27, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Site Visits (Pending Selection After Proposal Review) October 23 – November 22, 2019
Notification of Award December 20, 2019
Grant Period January 1 – December 31, 2020


Additional Information

Please direct all inquiries to The Women’s Foundation program staff at programs@wawf.org or 202.347.7737.