Ounce of Prevention Fund

Ounce of Prevention Fund
Founded: 1982

To ensure that all American children, particularly those born into poverty, have quality early childhood experiences in the crucial first five years of life.

About the Organization:
Founded by businessman and philanthropist Irving B. Harris, the Ounce of Prevention Fund believes that early childhood programs are the most cost-effective way to ensure the healthy development of children living in poverty and offer the greatest returns to society. Research has shown that the achievement gap among at-risk children is evident as early as at nine months, and that those who do not receive high-quality early childhood education are more likely to be placed in special education, drop out of school, become a teen parent, and/or be arrested for a violent crime. The organization uses private funding to develop innovative intervention programs that apply scientific evidence about early brain development, then leverages public funding to support their implementation and replication.

Current Programs:
The Ounce of Prevention Fund operates birth-to-five programs serving more than thirty-three hundred children in Chicago, including nearly fifteen hundred in Head Start and Early Head Start programs offered through partnerships with seven community agencies as well as through its own Educare of Chicago school for at-risk babies. A network of voluntary home-visiting programs in Illinois helps another nineteen hundred families create safe, stimulating home environments and ensure access to medical, dental, mental health, and other supports. The organization also trains doulas — mentors who encourage healthy prenatal practices, offer support during labor and delivery, and help foster strong parent-child relationships. In addition to providing technical assistance and training for a skilled early education workforce through its Birth-to-3 Institute, the fund conducts research into the latest science about early childhood education and advocates for supportive public policies, a strong infrastructure, and adequate funding for high-quality programs.

Web Site:
Visitors to the site can read articles and case studies about why investments in early childhood work, browse studies and evaluations, and learn how to get involved in advocacy efforts or support the organization.

To contact the organization via the web please click here.

The Ounce of Prevention Fund is supported by individuals, foundations, corporations, and government entities.

Contact: Diana Mendley Rauner, President
Phone: (312) 922-3863