Promoting high quality early childhood education for low-income children.

The Early Childhood Education Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP) provides multi-year, capacity-building support to early childhood education agencies, helping them to work with the staff and families to create long-lasting, sustainable quality improvements that directly benefit low-income children between the ages of birth to five.

Early childhood centers must respond to a shifting array of needs and offer services that encompass entire families. With the number of demands put on child care centers, the ability to have funds marked for quality rather than "putting out fires" is important. EQUIP grants help to address this need for quality early childhood education.

EQUIP provides resources that allow centers to address specific issues of importance to them and to work intensively on adding quality components to their programs. Example program areas include pre-literacy, behavior management, parent engagement, and arts education.

All projects, regardless of the specific focus, promote the overall well-being of children by encouraging a love of learning and healthy physical and mental development.

To learn more about the impact and outcomes of EQUIP, CLICK HERE to read the results of the 2014-2017 EQUIP Evaluation.

Apply for EQUIP

As the early childhood sector evolves and the needs of children and families shift, Bright Promises is committed to remaining responsive to the youngest children we serve.

In 2024, Bright Promises will employ our innovative process of convening leaders from across the field of early childhood care and education to help us identify the most urgent, unmet needs of Chicagoland children ages birth to five. Bright Promises will develop a new grant program to respond to these needs that will roll-out in 2025.

Current EQUIP grantees will be eligible for a second-year grant to support their currently-funded project.

For additional information, please email Bright Promises Program Officer Tiffany McQueen Lewis at

No new grants will be made in 2024.