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What We Do

Group of smiling and laughing children laying in a pile on the ground in a classroom.

Access to Quality Child Care

The first five years last forever. And the First Five Years Fund is focused on making sure more families have affordable access to quality child care and early learning programs for their children.

Early childhood development is a practical, non-partisan issue. Access to reliable, affordable, quality early learning and child care programs can dramatically improve a child’s opportunities for a better future while offering parents improved job stability and overall economic security. 

FFYF works to protect, prioritize, and build support for early learning and child care programs at the federal level. 

We work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to identify federal solutions that work for children, families and taxpayers, as well as states and communities. 

We work with policy makers to identify and advance new and innovative ways to increase access to high-quality child care and early learning programs for children from low-income families. 

And we collaborate with advocacy groups to help align best practices with the best possible policies. 

Theory of Change


Birth Through Age Five

FFYF seeks to expand federal support for all early learning and care opportunities for children from birth through age five that are high-quality and focused first on serving children from under-resourced communities.


Integration Across the Work

FFYF employs three core divisions of labor that are intentionally integrated, each playing a central role: Outreach/Government Relations; Policy and Partnerships; Communications/Public Relations.


Consensus Building

FFYF engages in strategic consensus-building, identifying when to lead, engage, or support conversations on both sides of the aisle in order to protect the issue of early childhood education from political polarization. FFYF identifies areas of agreement and carries out education and advocacy efforts to achieve the best possible policies for children and their families.


Short-Term and Long-Term Approach

FFYF employs careful discipline to ensure its positions on short-term policy opportunities do not compromise long-term bipartisan support and funding for child care and early learning for children birth through age five. 


Proactive and Responsive Advocacy

FFYF accounts for and adapts to the political and legislative environment in Washington to maximize its influence in a crowded advocacy space. Smart and strategic influence decisions require a nimble and opportunistic approach to advocacy.

FFYF’s Commitment

Driven by our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we are dedicated to building an equitable and effective early care and education system where all children receive the unique supports they need. At FFYF, we strongly value a diversity of backgrounds, skills, and life experiences, and recognize them as core to meeting the needs of the communities we serve. We will continue to be intentional in our efforts to create a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive work environment, and we pledge to continue to educate ourselves on such critical issues.

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