The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is committed to improving early childhood education by focusing on healthy birth outcomes and by increasing the quality of and improving access to child care in the city of Milwaukee.

We believe every child in Milwaukee deserves access to the very best start in life and there’s no time to waste. Research shows that 80 percent of a child’s brain is developed by age 3, with developmental disparities forming before a child’s first birthday.


Only one in three Milwaukee children live in a community with equitable access to early childhood education. Black and Latinx children are disproportionally affected by this lack of access at their most vulnerable time of life.


Every child in the city of Milwaukee is prepared to enter school.

Our Priorities

  • Invest in high-quality early childhood education facilities: Improve and expand existing early centers, particularly to enhance infant and toddler care, so that children are in safe, nurturing environments
  • Invest in expanding workforce options: Support professional development opportunities to increase credentials of existing center owners and their staff so that each center is providing the best support for children in their care. Support recruitment and retention efforts, which is critical because the field has a teacher shortage.
  • Advocate for increased access: Increase financial resources and leverage partnerships with local and statewide agencies to advance changes that permanently improve access, quality and affordability for all children and their families.


Learn more about the state of Milwaukee’s early childhood educator sector by reading A Seat at the Table.

Catch our conversation with national experts Rhian Evans Allvin, CEO, National Association for the Education of Young Children and Sherri Killins Stewart, Director of State Systems Alignment & Integration, Co-Director of State Services, BUILD Initiative about the state of the sector nationally and the steps we need to take together now to enact meaningful change. 

Learn how our educational initiative, Milwaukee Succeeds, is focused on improving the early childhood educator sector.

For a complete listing of this quarter’s grants made from our competitive grantmaking process, visit Recent Grants.

Learn more


Contact Janel Hines to learn how you can help our community succeed in education