UMass Boston Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation Awarded $100K Grant

Office of Communications | July 05, 2017
UMass Boston Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation Awarded $100K Grant

With this award, we will launch our first-in-the-nation innovation accelerator for early educators.

The University of Massachusetts Boston’s Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the Boston Foundation, the university announced today.

The grant will be used to train and support innovative, entrepreneurial, and skilled early educators to drive transformative change so that all young children and their families have access to high quality early learning opportunities.

“With this award, we will launch our first-in-the-nation innovation accelerator for early educators,” said Anne Douglass, founder and executive director of the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation. “We will be able to reach more child care business owners and early educators with entrepreneurial leadership training, and equip them to lead transformative change to improve early learning opportunities for young children in our city.”

The institute launched in September 2016, and provides early educators, directors, and small business owners with an entrepreneurial leadership development training designed to foster the skills, competencies, and mindsets needed for leading change and innovation in early care and education practice and policy.

The institute’s early educator innovation lab and accelerator serves as a testing ground for new ideas and creates an inclusive laboratory for early educators to network and co-create innovative solutions to teaching, quality improvement, and ECE business challenges.

“Our innovation lab will bring together diverse stakeholders to foster novel ideas related to policies, practices and processes in the early education and care fields while our accelerator will provide mentoring, networking and access to valuable innovation ecosystem resources for early care businesses,” said Associate Professor of Management Banu Ozkazanc-Pan, who led the design of the accelerator and now directs the innovation lab and accelerator. “Through these efforts, we aim to create a national model for sustainable, high-quality early care businesses and find solutions to growing early education inequalities in underserved communities.”

Over 100 institute alumni have already formed a powerful leadership corps, leveraging their practical experience and leadership training to improve ECE quality and children’s learning, and mentoring the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs.

In 2016, the Boston Foundation and its donors made $100 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of more than $107 million. In celebration of its Centennial in 2015, the Boston Foundation launched the ongoing Campaign for Boston to strengthen the Permanent Fund for Boston, the principal endowment fund focused on the most pressing needs of Greater Boston.

About UMass Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 17,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit

About the Boston Foundation
The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of some $1 billion. The foundation is proud to be a partner in philanthropy, with more than 1,000 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, think tank and advocacy organization, commissioning research into the most critical issues of our time and helping to shape public policy designed to advance opportunity for everyone in Greater Boston. The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), a distinct operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe. For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit or call 617-338-1700.

Tags: anne douglass , banu ozkazanc-pan , boston foundation , college of education and human development , college of management , early education , grant , institute for early education leadership and innovation

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