• The LA Partnership for Early Childhood investment

    We are a public-private collaboration of the country’s largest private foundations, family foundations, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, First 5 LA, and key government agencies.


The mission of the LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment is to invest in and promote innovations that advance the lifelong health and well-being of LA County children, age 0-5.


While our members’ interests vary widely, they are united by two principles:
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    • icon_03MORE LIKELY TO own a home

    A belief that investing early pays long term dividends

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    A desire to leverage support for the greatest possible impact


  • The Ahmanson Foundation
  • The Angell Foundation
  • The Annenberg Foundation
  • The Atlas Family Foundation
  • The Ballmer Group
  • Bezos Family Foundation
  • Blue Shield of California Foundation
  • The Louis L. Borick Foundation
  • California Community Foundation
  • The California Endowment
  • California HealthCare Foundation
  • The California Wellness Foundation
  • Johnny Carson Foundation
  • Casey Family Programs
  • The Carol and James Collins Foundation
  • Crail-Johnson Foundation
  • The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation
  • Dwight Stuart Youth Fund
  • Fineshriber Family Foundation
  • Heising-Simons Foundation
  • Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
  • W.M. Keck Foundation
  • The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • Panda Charitable Family Foundation
  • The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
  • PNC Financial
  • Reissa Foundation
  • Specialty Family Foundation
  • Stein Early Childhood Development Fund
  • S. Mark Taper Foundation
  • Tikun Olam Foundation
  • The Lawrence Welk Family Foundation


  • The Center for Strategic Partnerships
  • First 5 LA
  • LA County Department of Human Resources
  • LA County Department of Mental Health
  • LA County Department of Public Health
  • LA County Office for the Advancement of Early Care and Education


  • Tieks by Gavrieli

Our Story

When Richard Atlas retired in 1994 as a general partner at Goldman Sachs and Co., he knew he wanted to focus his philanthropy on building human capital at the bottom rung of society. That’s where his own grandparents began, as immigrants from Eastern Europe with no money and little education. His wife Lezlie’s work in child development anchored his commitment to invest in the future of children age birth to three years old.

Rich also wanted to inform and educate funders who didn’t have exposure or experience in supporting early child development to understand the long-term benefits of investing in the early years of life. So he and Janis Minton, executive director of the Atlas Family Foundation, began hosting informal gatherings, inviting other leaders in philanthropy to hear from early childhood experts about the long term health, education and economic gains from investing in the early years.

These meetings, usually over breakfast or lunch, coincided with Rich’s exposure to the importance of public policy. He realized that even if all of LA County’s leading foundations decided to fund early child development, it wouldn’t be sufficient to scale and sustain the support necessary for LA County’s large and diverse population of vulnerable children.

So Rich and Janis met with Cynthia Harding, a long time leader and early childhood proponent at LA County’s Department of Public Health. In Cynthia (who goes by Cindy) Rich and Janis had found a kindred spirit and a theme emerged: Despite being two sides of the same coin, private and public sector funders of early childhood development rarely, if ever, talked to one other. But to unleash the full potential of their impact, they first had to be at the same table.

Together, Richard, Janis and Cindy began gathering a growing group of private and public funders to discuss the biggest challenges facing families in the county’s poorest communities and how they could work together to forge large-scale change.

Funders of wide-ranging social issues began seeing the upstream value of investing in the health, education and development of infants and toddlers.

By 2007, the group had developed the trust and interest to build a more formal partnership. With multiple foundations providing seed funding, an executive director was hired and the LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment was born.

In 2011, First 5 LA provided a matching grant of $1 million to create The Baby Futures Fund, a shared fund designed to enhance the collective impact of the Partnership. The incentive paid off: the Partnership met the matching grant more than 6 months ahead of schedule, and the Fund has now made more than $1 million in grants to help scale and sustain investments in the most vulnerable children birth to age five in LA County.

Today the LA Partnership has more than 30 members, from local foundations and First 5 LA, to the LA Area Chamber of Commerce and multiple county agencies supporting families throughout the county.