Zaentz Early Education Innovation Challenge Invites Proposals

The Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) promotes the knowledge, professional learning, and collective action necessary to cultivate optimal early learning environments and experiences. The initiative is supported by a $35.5 million gift from the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation, one of the largest gifts ever given to a university for advancing early childhood education.

The Zaentz Initiative has announced the launch of the 2019 Zaentz Early Education Innovation Challenge. Now in its second year, the challenge invites individuals or teams to submit ideas, concepts, and strategic approaches aimed at driving transformative change in early education. Through the challenge, the initiative will provide funding in support of promising new ideas that have the potential to accelerate positive change and innovation in early education.

Submissions to the challenge may target short- or long-term change at multiple levels of the early education system, including the home, classroom, program, networks, and/or policy. To support innovation of all kinds, there are three submission tracks:

The Idea Track is for new ideas or concepts that have not yet been put into action.

The Pilot Track is for ideas or approaches that have been developed as a prototype.

The Scaling Track is for products or services that have been launched and are at a point where further sharpening or refining is needed to support scaling.

Idea Track winners will receive $10,000 (1st Place), $5,000 (2nd Place), and $1,000 (Audience Choice). Pilot Track winners will receive $15,000 (1st Place), $10,000 (2nd Place), and $5,000 (Audience Choice). And Scaling Track winners will receive $15,000 (1st Place), $10,000 (2nd Place), and $5,000 (Audience Choice).

In 2018, the challenge attracted more than two hundred ideas from organizations and individuals across the country.

Submissions are due August 30, 2019.

For details, eligibility criteria, an FAQ, and a list of past winners, see on the Zaentz Early Education Innovation Challenge website.