The Early Child Development Funders Working Group (ECDFWG)

The Early Child Development Funders Working Group ECDFWG was established in 2009 as a group of foundations coming together with a simple goal; ensure the availability of quality, publicly funded, early childhood education for every preschool child in Canada.

The ECDFWG is many things: a cross-Canada learning network; a deeply shared commitment to children; a link among diverse foundations.

The ECDFWG does not solicit or accept applications for funding. Rather, it is a resource to its membership, supporting collaboration and knowledge sharing that improves the effectiveness of our philanthropy relating to young children. Members of the ECDFWG value learning from each other about how foundations can influence policy change, sharing tools that can be adapted for local use, and increasing understanding of the vast regional variations in values and approaches that make up Canada. 


Since its inception, the ECDFWG has sought to achieve a balance between an informal and a structured approach. There are no formal terms of reference. Each foundation chooses its participants in the ECDFWG who have included a range of foundation Board Directors, CEOs, program staff, and advisors. The ECDFWG’s operating principles have related to trust, openness, respect, and understanding with a goal to improve the effectiveness of philanthropy in support of early child development through knowledge sharing, strategy alignment, and collaboration. 

From time to time, foundations invite a cross-section of grantees/partners to share their work with the other foundations to enhance discussion and learning. 

The ECDFWG welcomes new philanthropic organizations to join our biannual meetings. For foundations interested in becoming involved, please contact current co-chairs

Members of the Early Child Development Funders Working Group include: logo