First Five Years Fund

our work

The First Five Years Fund works to sustain and expand the support for early learning that exists at the federal level, while identifying and advancing new and innovative ways to increase access to high-quality early childhood education for children from low-income families. We help align best practices with the best possible policies and work with advocacy groups and policymakers on both sides of the aisle to identify federal solutions that work for children, families and taxpayers, as well as states and communities. Early childhood development is a practical, non-partisan issue—so we collaborate with a diverse and wide range of federal and state advocates, business and thought leaders, and policymakers to help build consensus and craft early childhood policies that provide lasting economic and social returns.


The mission of the First Five Years Fund is to ensure all children from birth through age five have equitable access to affordable, comprehensive, high-quality care and education to support their healthy development and help them achieve their full potential in school and life.

brain power

During the first five years, a child’s brain is at its most flexible, making this a critical period for learning and growth. Science tells us that children who face adversity in the first years of life are more at risk for experiencing lifelong effects from toxic stress. Prolonged stress during childhood can do damage to a child’s brain architecture, which can lead to lifelong problems in learning, behavior and physical and mental health.

voter demand

Less than half of low-income children have access to high-quality early childhood programs that could dramatically improve their opportunities for a better future. Congress and the Administration can help change that.


The First Five Years Fund is dedicated to increasing federal investment in high-quality early learning and care programs for disadvantaged children from birth to age 5. We aim to help elevate early childhood education as a priority for the nation, garnering bipartisan support and contributing to improvements in funding and quality.