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Funding Opportunity

SUPPORTING GRASSROOTS EFFORTS TO PROMOTE EQUITABLE EARLY CHILDHOOD OUTCOMES

Background

Research continues to reveal that early experiences and environment can have a lasting impact on health, academic success, and economic stability, setting children up for success in school and life. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is decimating early childhood infrastructure across the state, while subjecting children to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) as families experience social isolation, poverty, and illness. At the same time, North Carolina is reckoning with the profound and pervasive role structural racism plays in the health of communities. The confluence of these two factors demands that early childhood stakeholders rethink and rebuild systems and programs in a way that reflects the post-COVID world and centers racial equity.

This rebuilding process will only be successful in promoting equitable outcomes for North Carolina’s diverse population of children and families if the communities most impacted by inequities are at the center. In the past, local and state-level policymakers and advocates have designed policies without partnering with parents of color, service providers, and community leaders. This has contributed to persistent disparities in outcomes for Black, Latino, American Indian, and other children and families of color.

Available Funding

To address inequities in the early childhood system, the Blue Cross NC Foundation and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust are issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a three-year, $100,000/year ($300,000 total) flexible funding opportunity with the aim of funding up to 10 organizations to advance changes to early childhood policies, practices, institutions or other components of early childhood systems. Eligible organizations for this funding opportunity are grassroots organizations led by and serving Black, Latino, American Indian, and other communities that have been negatively impacted by inequities in early childhood systems.

Specifically, this grantmaking collaboration aims to:

  • Build the capacity of local organizations led by and serving Black, Latino, American Indian, and other communities that have been negatively impacted by inequities in early childhood systems to advocate for early childhood system change
  • Enhance the power of these organizations to influence state policy discussions;
  • Support the implementation of local policy and system advocacy goals to address ACEs, improve early childhood education, and reform practices and policies that perpetuate racism and racial inequities in systems of early childhood.

This grantmaking collaboration will support local organizations and coalitions that are working to center the experience of children and families to tackle a range of early childhood issues that are consistent with the foundations’ priorities, such as:

  • Making high-quality early childhood care and education accessible and affordable in a variety of settings that meet the diverse needs of North Carolina’s children, parents, and caregivers
  • Supporting the health and well-being of parents and caregivers as a strategy to meet the needs of their children
  • Preventing and mitigating Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • Other issues facing young children (foundation staff will be available in January for one-on-one consultations to discuss whether an issue is a fit for this funding opportunity)

Eligibility

We seek to partner with organizations that are:

  • Grounded in community – eligible organizations will be deeply grounded in community as demonstrated by the inclusion of parents, service providers, and others in the organization’s decision-making and operations.
  • Engaged in advocacy for systems change – eligible organizations will have specific policy and/or systems change goals to address structural racism.
  • From historically marginalized communities – eligible organizations will be able to describe racial and/or ethnic inequities in child well-being in their communities, whether urban or rural.
  • Serving Black, Latino, American Indian communities and other communities that have been negatively impacted by inequities in early childhood systems, and their leadership will be representative of the communities they serve.

How to Apply

For a complete overview of the funding opportunity, along with details on how to apply, please review the Request for Proposals.

Timeline

Letter of Inquiry submissions are no longer being accepted.

Grant decisions will be made in May.

Webinar

To provide prospective applicants with more information, we hosted a webinar on Tuesday, January 12.

During the webinar, staff from the Blue Cross NC Foundation and Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust provided background information about their approach to this funding opportunity, outlined the work they’re interested in supporting, and detailed information on the application and review process.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled Frequently Asked Questions to further assist prospective applicants.

Contact

If you have questions, please contact Rob Thompson at rob.thompson@bcbsncfoundation.org.