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Kresge commits new $25M to early childhood in Detroit


Kresge, Kellogg  Hope Starts Here With Us


The Kresge Foundation announced Friday an expansion and refocusing of its Kresge Early Years for Success (KEYS): Detroit initiative to align with the Hope Starts Here Community Framework with a new $25 million, five-year commitment to support early childhood systems in Detroit.

KEYS: Detroit began its work in 2016 and thus far had invested nearly $10 million into early childhood systems, including support for the Hope Starts Here planning process.

The Kresge Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation share the Hope Starts Here Framework

Shared today together with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Hope Starts Here: Detroit’s Early Childhood Partnership framework is the outcome of a one-year community planning and engagement process that involved more than 240 community members and experts. The framework contains six overarching imperatives to guide civic and private leaders over the next decade, with 15 strategies for action. It also identified 27 policy priorities for advocacy at the institutional, local, state and national levels and included strategies around: supporting financial stability; creating a stronger connection between early childhood, health and education; and improving early childhood services.

“The Hope Starts Here framework is a blueprint for ensuring that every child in the city of Detroit enters kindergarten equipped to succeed,” said Rip Rapson, Kresge’s President and CEO, who is co-chair of the Hope Starts Here community partnership. “We engaged more than 18,000 Detroiters to get their ideas for how everyone in our community – from parents to childcare providers, from nonprofit organizations to businesses – can contribute to making that happen. The results of that input are both practical and inspiring.

“Kresge is proud to lend its full support to the pathways to progress that Hope Starts Here identifies. So proud, in fact, that we are committing $25 million over the next five years to support them, including a commitment to the upgrading of facilities, the creation of a small grant program for early childhood providers, and the strengthening of networks of learning and practice among early childhood professionals.”

Rapson added: “Detroit must aspire to be a city that puts children first. Hope Starts Here is a powerful first step in that direction.”

The KEYS: Detroit $25 million will support the Hope Starts Here strategies through 2022 with investments in:

  • Capacity Building (CB): Supporting the development of early childhood families, practitioners, leaders and organizations to support the ecosystem.
  • Field Advancement (FA): Bringing national best practices to Detroit and developing tools to advocate for policies that advance early childhood work in the city.
  • Comprehensive Centers (CC): Learning from successful models to create comprehensive early childhood centers that convey the dignity of our young children, their families and communities.
  • Systems Coordination (SC): Coordinating citywide systems that support early childhood organizations.

New KEYS: Detroit investments and projects being announced today include:

  • $450,000 to Prevention Network to launch a new early-childhood focused small grants program through Community Connections. In collaboration with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, this program will fund resident-led neighborhood-scale projects and will also support the activation of prototype projects developed during the Hope Starts Here planning process. (CB)
  • The launch of the Detroit Early Childhood Advocacy Network, which will build a network of advocacy groups to equip and empower parents and families to become champions for their young children. (CB)
  • Later this month, Kresge will open a request-for-proposals process to source an organization to implement the (KEYS): Detroit Fellowship for early childhood practitioners. (CB) This fellowship will launch in 2018.
  • Data Driven Detroit today launched, the city’s first digital early childhood database portal. The portal is a one-stop shop for access to public data about young children to help inform decision-making. The site also links to a comprehensive stakeholder map that was developed during the planning process. Kresge supported the portal with $100,000 in grants.

KEYS: Detroit investments coming in 2018 that will support the Hope Starts Here Framework include (but are not limited to):

  • A new comprehensive childcare center will break ground in spring 2018. (CC) KEYS: Detroit has partnered with IFF to lead this work, investing nearly $1 million through prior commitments.
  • Continued support for Hope Starts Here convening and implementation via a stewardship board, communications and community engagement

Other active KEYS: Detroit investments that will align and support the Hope Starts Here framework include:

  • Grants to support public awareness and communications went to Detroit Public Television ($100,000), Bridge Magazine ($450,000, three-year grant to support topics including early childhood), and Chalkbeat Michigan ($75,000).
  • Ready2Learn: an initiative led by the Detroit Health Department to provide access to health and human services for young children and families. Nearly $700,000 in grant funding supports WIC, Sisterfriends Detroit and Lead Safe Detroit, among other initiatives.
  • Learning Spaces, a grant program of IFF that provides technical assistant, consulting and funding to improve facilities quality. Kresge has provided more than $1 million in funding for the program, which helps providers make small scale improvements or renovations to child care spaces.
  • Facilities improvements loans are available through IFF via a $3 million program-related investment.
  • The Head Start Innovation Fund is an $11-million fund from 10 metro Detroit foundations to support Head Start providers to improve quality of programs and services. Kresge supports the fund, which is housed at the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan.
  • A $15,000 grant to the Citizens Research Council supports a comprehensive review of federal and state funding available to support early childhood initiatives in Detroit.

Learn more at

Subscribe to the KEYS: Detroit newsletter at

Download the full Hope Starts Here Framework at

Read the full report Detroit’s Community Framework for Brighter Futures.

Read the executive summary of the report Detroit’s Community Framework for Brighter Futures.

Find Hope Starts Here on social media using #HopeBuilds

About Hope Starts Here

Hope Starts Here is a community engagement and strategic planning process designed to create a vision and an action plan to make Detroit an equitable, world-class city for its youngest residents and their families. For more information, visit or follow on Facebook @HopeStartsHereDetroit.