What Is Funding Equity

Defining Equity


CELFE believes that we must design a simpler, better, fairer funding system for early childhood education and care to ensure every young child and family can access what they need to grow and thrive.

In this system, a child can receive quality early education and care regardless of:

  • Where they live
  • What their home language might be
  • What their unique learning needs might be

Parents with young children can work no matter:

  • How much they are able to pay for care
  • Where they live
  • What their work schedule might be

Educators/ staff are compensated fairly no matter:

  • What source of funding supports their salary
  • What provider type employs them
  • What age of child they teach

Communities have resources to provide:

  • Family engagement and caregiver support
  • Options for bilingual education
  • Special education and early intervention supports

Community Voice and Evidence-Based Practice

Using authentic community voice, research, and evidence-based practice, we design differentiated program models to meet children and families’ varied needs, design ECEC funding systems to equitably allocate resources according to differentiated needs, and analyze current funding distribution across all public sources to identify racial, geographic, and economic disparities in resources.

An Example from Our Work — IL ECEC Funding Equity Map

ECEC Funding Equity Map Presentation