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

GuidelinesHow to Apply
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

Important Update: Due to the COVID-19 Crisis, there are changes to the 2020 EQUIP Program.

Leadership and staff at Bright Promises Foundation know that low-income children and families across the Greater Metropolitan Chicago area are being significantly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. We also know this pandemic threatens the organizations that serve them as well and in extraordinary ways, including early childhood centers.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bright Promises made a first round of emergency grants to support select early childhood centers and home-based providers currently open for emergency childcare to children of first responders and essential workers.

A second round of grant proposals is currently being accepted by invitation only. Invited proposals are due Friday, July 24 by 5:00pm. For additional information, please email Shilpa Bavikatte, EQUIP program officer, at

Please read our guidelines and, if eligible, submit an application.
2020 GuidelinesEQUIP COVID-19 Response ApplicationEQUIP Renewal Application