Educare Chicago launched in 2000, the work of the Ounce Of Prevention Fund with the Irving Harris Foundation. The school emerged from its predecessor The Beethoven Project.

Three years later, Educare expanded, furthering its efforts to help narrow the achievement gap for more children living in poverty by building additional schools and creating a network of early learning champions around the country.

There are currently 25 Educare schools across the country. The Educare model is based on research from early childhood development, education, social work and other allied fields. Four core features compose the Educare model: data utilization, embedded professional development, high-quality teaching practices and intensive family engagement.

Strong leadership at Educare schools supports the implementation of the model and develops the culture for high-quality early childhood education and family support services.


Since 1982, the Ounce of Prevention Fund has persistently pursued a single goal: that all children living in America—particularly those born into poverty—have quality early childhood experiences in the crucial first five years of life. Science tells us that a child’s first five years of life is the most critical period for brain development. And yet, fewer than half of low-income children in America have access to high-quality early learning programs that can change the trajectory of their lives beyond childhood.

The Ounce was founded by Irving B. Harris, who worked to advance the early childhood field throughout Chicago.