Indigenous Early Childhood Education
Transforming Native communities, starting with our earliest learners
Strengthening Systems of Care and Learning with Native Communities
The American Indian College Fund (College Fund), in collaboration with Tribal Colleges and Universities, engages in early childhood education (ECE) initiatives that draw upon child development knowledge from within Native communities melded with the best practices identified in the field of early childhood education.
Indigenous Early Childhood Education Programs
Learn more about our TCU grant programs to support Indigenous children.
Ihduwiyayapi: Advancing Indigenous Early Childhood Education
Active Program Dates: 2021-Ongoing
The Ihduwiyayapi: Advancing Indigenous Early Childhood Education program partners with tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) to build the capacity of their early childhood education programs and improve teacher education through family and community outreach, enhanced child developmental pedagogy, pathways development, enhanced capacity, and engagement in national conversations about ECE best practices and lessons learned.
Strategic Planning and Building TCU ECE Family Engagement
Active Program Dates: 2020-2021
The Strategic Planning and Building TCU ECE Family Engagement program involved a $200,000 grant that supported 7 TCUs with family engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as supported the development of a strategic plan for the next 1, 4, and 7 years of the American Indian College Fund’s Indigenous Early Childhood Education (IECE) programming.
For the Wisdom of the Children: Strengthening the Teacher of Color Pipeline
Active Program Dates: 2018-2020
For the Wisdom of the Children: Strengthening the Teacher of Color Pipeline is the latest American Indian College Fund early childhood education (ECE) initiative thanks to a two-year, $1.5 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Restorative Teachings Early Childhood Education Initiative
Active Program Dates: 2016-2018
The College Fund in collaboration with Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), is implementing a $1.5 million dollar early childhood education (ECE) initiative that draws upon the child development knowledge from within Native communities melded with the best practices identified in the field of early childhood education.
Cultivating Lakota Early Childhood Learning Opportunities
Active Program Dates: 2015-2016
Partnering with Sitting Bull College the project seeks to develop a scope and sequence of a pre-K Lakota immersion language curriculum, improve family engagement strategies, create an early learning language immersion assessment system, and strengthen the knowledge and skill of Lakota immersion language teachers.
Ké’ Early Childhood Education Family Engagement Initiative
Active Program Dates: 2014-2015
The Ké’ Early Childhood Initiative (Ké’ ECE Initiative) supports tribal college grantees and their tribal and community partners in deepening their engagement with Native families in the education of their children, starting from birth to age 8.
Wakanyeja – Early Childhood Education Initiative
Active Program Dates: 2011-2016
The American Indian College Fund, through the Wakanyeja “Sacred Little Ones” – Tribal College Readiness and Success by Third Grade, is working to bring together tribal colleges, communities, educators, and families to address early learning disparities in Native communities.
Indigenous Early Childhood Education Blogs
Read important Program News from the team at College Fund.
Building the College of Menominee Nation’s Capacity through Culture, Community, Connections, and Collaboration
In the spring of 2022, the American Indian College Fund awarded the College of Menominee Nation (CMN) the Ihduwiyayapi: Advancing Indigenous Early Childhood Education Grant for its teacher education program, which is a community-centered and multi-faceted approach to early childhood education that builds on CMN’s current capacity to teach and train early childhood educators to graduate with the skills to be fully equipped to teach the Menominee Nation’s littlest learners.
Culturally Relevant Lessons with ECE Students Provide Healing Opportunities
During the onset of the pandemic in 2020, Stone Child College (SCC) received a TCU-Head Start partnership grant, To Come Together for our Children, to partner with three Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and the University of Montana-Western (UMW) to deliver...
Finding the Trail Left for Us
How do we reclaim what Indigenous education is in our communities? This is the question that Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Child Development program is pursuing. Here are four lessons we have learned along the way. A post by Govinda Budrow, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Ihduwiyayapi Project Administrator.
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