Babies begin to learn about the world around them from a very early age. Children's early experiences deeply affect their future physical, cognitive, emotional and social development. Optimizing the early years of a children's lives is the best investment we can make as a society in ensuring their future success. The evidence is convincingly clear, we know that high-quality early learning programs, which include well-qualified teachers, research-based curriculum and assessments and family engagement are essential to nurturing young bodies and minds.

We focus on the early years because we know that expanding and providing access to high-quality early care and education is among the smartest investments we can make. Research has shown that the first years in a child’s life – when most of their brain is forming – sets the foundation for success in school and in life. To thrive and become productive adults, all children need strong families, good health, quality learning opportunities, and supportive communities. And yet, millions of children and youth lack the support they need to strengthen their literacy, stay on track in school, graduate high school, and find a career.

Our Goals

Provide funding to programs that increase the number of children who:

  • Meet developmental milestones
  • Succeed in school
  • Engage with their communities
  • Build resilience
  • Have skills and plans to be ready for a bright future

Investment Areas

  • Developmental Monitoring and Screening
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Healthy Development
  • Language and Literacy
  • Positive Parenting
  • Ready to Learn
  • Support for Children and Families
  • Youth Development

What We Fund

Check out the programs we fund impacting childhood development and early education! 

Community Initiatives

  • Back 2 School Fair/Stuff the Truck: Addresses the needs of many low-income families, in preparing their children for a new school year with necessary school supplies.
  • Dolly Parton's Imagination Library: Reading to and with a child is vital to healthy development. Enroll your child in Dolly Parton's Imagination Library and he or she will receive a free book every month until their fifth birthday. Check availability here.