Children live in families. Families live in communities. Success happens when all thrive.

Children begin learning at birth – which means families, neighbors, caregivers and early childhood providers all have a critical influence on a child’s future learning and well-being.

At the Hartford Foundation, it is our goal to ensure that all children, especially those most vulnerable, have access to high-quality early childhood experiences.

We do this by:

  • Understanding the needs and resources of our region
  • Sharing the latest understandings of child and family development
  • Promoting public-private partnerships
  • Convening and building the capacity of our partners who work with children and families
  • Promoting collaborative, data-driven action and partnerships across sectors
  • Exploring new models and opportunities
  • Supporting quality childhood programs that support children and families
  • Advocating for effective policies and resources
  • Grantmaking

By supporting the critical components of an early childhood system – early learning and development, health, family support and family civic engagement – we aspire to enable all young children enter kindergarten ready to learn and thrive.  

We’re building a quality early childhood system, together.

Since 1987, the Hartford Foundation has invested more than $37 million in the early childhood system, primarily through the Hartford Area Child Care Collaborative (the Collaborative) and Brighter Futures Initiative. Together, these initiatives have deep expertise and a broad set of relationships that can collectively provide high quality early childhood services, and system and policy reform.

Over the remainder of 2015, we will be formally consolidating the work of the Collaborative and Brighter Futures to strengthen proven strategies, extend shared learning and vision, and continue to pilot innovative new ideas.

The combined Hartford Foundation Early Childhood Investments team will work to align services, practices, policies and resources at the local, regional and state levels. Commitment, care and support for children and families must happen at all of these levels in order to build and sustain a quality early childhood system.

Our system-building efforts involve:



Working with neighborhood residents, municipal leaders, and community-based programs and services to discover and demonstrate what works; and strengthening the skills of those who interact directly with children and families.



Promoting high-quality early childhood experiences across the region by working collaboratively with partners to build workforce capacity, share best practices, coordinate services and provide support. Our regional presence serves as a hub to connect and align local and statewide efforts to move the early childhood field forward.



Developing a common vision across organizations and sectors, and collaborating with public sector and philanthropic peers to ensure state policies and practices are informed by and responsive to our region.

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