NFF’s Early Care and Education (ECE) Work in Philadelphia

NFF has extensive experience in the early care and education (ECE) sector in the Philadelphia region.

With the support of the William Penn Foundation, City of Philadelphia, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Wachovia Regional Community Development Corporation, Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Samuel S. Fels Fund, NFF’s Philadelphia Child Care Initiative (2003-2013) provided financial consulting and over $11.7 million in grants and loans to improve the quality of child care in the region. The Child Development Laboratory of Saint Joseph’s University gave a positive evaluation of the initiative, reporting that it was successful in addressing facility needs, helping programs improve quality, and promoting the capacity of participating organizations.

Our deep sector work continued with a research project on the state and needs of the ECE sector in Southeastern Pennsylvania commissioned by the William Penn Foundation. NFF’s report, titled “Overcoming Financial Barriers to Expanding High-Quality Early Care & Education in Southeastern Pennsylvania,” highlights the systemic factors that drive the provision of high-quality care for Philadelphia’s most vulnerable children.

Our Experience:

  • Early Care and Education Report Commissioned by the William Penn Foundation: NFF embarked on a study of 147 ECE providers in the Philadelphia region to assess the financial challenges of operating high-quality ECE programs, with a focus on nonprofit programs serving children living in poverty. 
  • Capital Grants: NFF awarded capital grants to nonprofit organizations that were undertaking a facility project to improve the quality of their child care program.
  • Planning Grants: NFF awarded planning grants to nonprofit organizations to help them gain the critical information they needed to move ahead with a facility project or new business idea.
  • Loans: Child care providers accessed facility and equipment related loans and working capital lines crucial to maintaining financial stability. Loan and grant packages were a creative way of financing a project so that it could move forward in a timely manner. 
  • Technical Assistance: NFF staff and consultants assisted providers on a one-on-one basis with facilities project planning and project implementation.
  • Training: NFF conducted workshops that gave participants tools for planning projects, accessing funding, and navigating other topics relevant to the child care field. 


Child Care Evaluation
Read evaluation results of the Child Care Initiative, from St. Joseph's University researchers




Child Care Regulation Booklet
Guide for Child Care Providers Planning Renovations or Construction for Expansion in Philadelphia
The regulations outlined in this handbook help Philadephia child care centers renovate and build their facilities and take the steps to create a safe accessible environment for children and the personnel who care for them. The handbook goes one step further by first outlining the top best practices that have been implemented at local day care centers.

Energy saving tips

Saving Money While Getting Greener

Saving Money While Getting Greener:Tips To Create Energy Efficient, Healthier Nonprofit Facilities
In this guide, you’ll find energy saving tips for nonprofits, with an emphasis on saving money on utilities, maintaining safe and healthy indoor spaces, and moving towards a more environmentally conscious approach to facility management. As a project of NFF Philadelphia's Child Care Initiative, the guide also pays particular attention to organizations serving children in the Philly area.

To see more NFF publications, please click here.

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