National Educare Learning Network

The Educare Learning Network is a partnership between the Ounce of Prevention Fund, the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, and other national philanthropies and public-private partners in more than a dozen states across America. Together, we form a coast-to-coast network of Educare Schools.

The Educare team—a national staff housed at the Ounce, The Buffett Foundation and more mature Educare Schools—help develop new partnerships among like-minded individuals who want to create Educare Schools in their communities. Each Educare School serves as a catalyst for change—leveling the academic playing field for very young children at risk for school failure while also firing the imaginations of key decision-makers in the worlds of early childhood practice and policy.

Challenge Grants

Educare works with leaders from the public and private sectors to accomplish the shared goal of helping our most vulnerable children enter school without the typical achievement gap between them and their middle-income peers.

To encourage the steady growth of the Educare network, these national early childhood funders provide a $1 million Educare Replication Pool challenge grant to local partnerships for their capital campaigns:

  • Buffett Early Childhood Fund
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • George Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Irving Harris Foundation
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The grants help leverage local funds and, more importantly, create new private-sector champions who will advocate for early childhood.

Members of the Educare Learning Network benefit from:

  • Tailored technical assistance, training, and support provided by the Ounce of Prevention Fund and network peers to help develop and sustain each Educare School and facilitate implementation of Educare’s core features.
  • A peer network to support their work. Members share strategies and resources to fully implement best practices required by the Educare model. The Network also provides a forum for Educare leaders and partners to reflect on successes and challenges and problem-solve together.
  • Access to top professionals and thought leaders from early childhood development, economics, business, philanthropic, public policy, research, and other communities.
  • Participation in a national Implementation Study to help Educare School staff and partners use the tools and data to maximize the application of the Educare model. Study data continuously informs their work, improves practice, helps individualize programs to the needs of children and their families, and identifies areas for programs, systems, and/or policy change.
  • Use of the Educare branding, including logo and icon.


The Educare Learning Network helps develop the expertise, experience, and capacity to fully implement the Educare model over time, through four core strategies:

  1. Intensive and ongoing implementation assistance and consultation
  2. Training and learning events
  3. Participation in a broader Professional Learning Community across Educare Schools
  4. Assistance in building Educare’s role and impact as a platform for policy and systems change