Investing in Early Childhood Care and Education

The effects of underinvestment in early childhood education are apparent on all sides. For parents, the cost of early childhood education is a significant financial hurdle, often exceeding the annual cost of in-state college tuition and fees. On the providers’ side, a recent study by the National Association for the Education of Young Children revealed that over half of child care providers in the U.S. are losing money each day they remain open, and many will close if they don’t receive additional support, adding to existing challenges of affordable and accessible child care options. The U.S. Department of Education highlights a troubling pay gap for early childhood teachers, and systemic and structural racism has created disparities for access to quality early care.

The early care and education infants and toddlers experience lays the foundation for their lifelong learning, social development, health outcomes and so much more. And communities that invest more in early childhood education benefit from stronger economies and reduced social costs.

How can philanthropy ensure our youngest children have equitable opportunities for healthy development and learning? Join us for a virtual learning opportunity and hear from early care and education leaders who work tirelessly to support policies and practices that help children, families and providers thrive. We’ll explore current advocacy efforts, discuss how philanthropy can help build a workforce pipeline for early educators, and examine how we can increase funding to address racial inequities.

Date: Tuesday, April 13

Time: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Central

Who is this session for?
     • Individuals, families and foundations who have an interest in learning about and supporting early care and education
     • Professional advisors working with clients who may have an interest in supporting early care and education through their philanthropy

We encourage participants to engage at their fullest during the session by turning on their cameras for a more personal experience.

Please use the form below to confirm your attendance. We will email Zoom information the morning of the virtual event. 

Questions? Contact Sidney Peterson at or 816.627.3414. 


If you are a professional advisor, please include the name of your firm.

If you are associated with a private foundation, please include the name.



More About Our Speakers:

Shannon Rudisill Shannon Rudisill is the Executive Director of the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative (ECFC), where she pursues a strategy of growth and strategic engagement with partners across philanthropy to build capacity for supporting policies and practices that help young children and their families thrive. Prior to joining ECFC, Shannon was the Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development at the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Shannon served on the Obama Administration’s senior leadership team for early childhood programs, where she worked on the $500 million Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership grants, which will bring higher quality early care and comprehensive services to thousands of infants and toddlers.

Sherri Killins Stewart, Ed. D Sherri Killins Stewart, Ed. D is the Director of State Systems Alignment and Integration for the BUILD Initiative and an independent consultant for clients including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the New Haven Public School System. In her work with BUILD, she works directly with state leaders to advance early childhood systems efforts in health, early learning, and family support. She also co-leads a network of early childhood leaders to advance racial equity. Dr. Killins Stewart has worked at multiple levels in states and communities across the country to create targeted action to benefit young children and their families. Previously, she was the Commissioner of Early Education and Care for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Vice President of Human Development and Operations at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and CEO of Empower New Haven.


This opportunity is brought to you by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and Greater Horizons.