To strengthen Evanston families and their ability to care for young children during the pandemic, we awarded nearly $250K in operating grants to the early childhood sector.

ECF worked with five early childhood centers to get groceries and diapers to those most impacted. The grant also allowed the Evanston Early Childhood Council to hire its first ever staff person to manage local collaboration and advocacy efforts. ECF launched this initiative with dollars from Communityworks, but more support is needed for this work to continue.


Fortifying the work of early childhood caregivers

Recognizing the incredibly essential service and role that early childhood centers play in our community, ECF has prioritized investments in the sector since 2003.

Early childhood centers have deep and trusting relationships with many of the most marginalized in our community. ECF worked with five early childhood centers—Childcare Network of Evanston, Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, Learning Bridge Early Education Center, Reba Early Learning Center, and Toddler Town Daycare—to provide grocery cards, diapers, and basic necessities for their families.

ECF partnered with Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club to provide PPE and specialized cleaning equipment to fifteen early childhood centers so they could continue to offer their families the outstanding early childhood care and education programs they have relied on, even in the early stage of the pandemic.

The logistics of diapers: it’s all about teamwork and partnership

Evanston-Rebuilding-Warehouse-diapers.jpgA supply chain network doesn’t exactly come to mind when ECF is involved. Through our extensive network of partners, however, we became part of one last March.

ECF, with Evanston Cradle to Career, worked with seven early childhood nonprofits to identify 650 families who were in dire need of diapers and wipes. We then enlisted Bundled Blessings and Cradles to Crayons to procure the needed supplies.

ECF asked Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse, which employs young adults who are reentering the workforce, to manage packaging and distribution.

This initiative took teamwork and partnership to a new level!

The combined efforts of all organizations involved exemplify what a community can do when faced with a crisis.

2020 Annual Report: Reimagine

“The pandemic devastated the early childhood sector. Even after returning to classroom instruction in July 2020, our enrollment numbers were far below normal. We have relied on partners like the Evanston Community Foundation to help make up the gap in earned income. ECF was able to react to community needs, adapt their strategy, and give dollars to those who needed it quickly and efficiently. IWSE is very thankful for their support and leadership.”
—Stephen Vick, Executive Director, Infant Welfare Society of Evanston