Financing Strategically

Pooling funds are funds from many individual investors that are aggregated for the purpose of investment in a program, initiative, or system infrastructure.[49] Many funding streams that support early childhood are categorical and targeted to specific populations of children or fund only specific services for eligible populations. Coordinating different funding sources—including federal, state, private, and local—can provide programs with greater flexibility, enabling them to reach a broader range of children or provide a wider range of services. Coordination at the state level can take different forms, such as pooling flexible funds to create a blended source of funding or decategorizing funds to remove or realign regulations so that they can be blended to provide comprehensive services. These strategies increase access to vital services to those most in need:

  • In Connecticut, the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund supported an Early Childhood Funders affinity group. The group is comprised of a number of funders—large and small—who make grants to support early care and education in Connecticut. This group has pooled and coordinated funding in areas such as facilities and community engagement.[50]
  • In Missouri, eight agencies pooled a portion of their funds to sponsor community partnerships throughout the state. These community partnerships are required to work toward achieving core results for children and families; however, the funds do not restrict them to prescribed services.[51]

[49] Ohio Department of Education. (2015). Procedures and guidance for Ohio educational agencies serving children with disabilities [Web page]. Retrieved from

[50] William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund. (n.d.). Strategies [Web page]. Retrieved from

[51] Missouri Department of Social Services. (n.d.). Missouri Department of Social Services homepage [Web page]. Retrieved from