A photo of a happy toddler

A baby’s first steps are a momentous occasion, often captured on video and shared by ecstatic parents. What we don’t see in those videos is what came before: the tipsy falls, the almost-had-its, the timid exploration and bold attempts.

We celebrate a baby’s first steps because they’re an exciting sign of growth, and because they foreshadow even greater developments to come. Yet shouldn’t we also commemorate all the work that preceded them, and the support and encouragement that made that milestone moment possible?

This is why the Ounce of Prevention Fund is so grateful for the partners and supporters who have helped us reach these milestones: 35 years of program, policy and research advances; 20 years of supporting expecting mothers and new parents with doulas; and 10 years of federal advocacy from the First Five Years Fund. As we celebrate these anniversaries, we acknowledge that these are merely “baby steps” to the future we seek to create.

We want all children to enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and in life, and all parents to have the supports to help them. This transformational change for our nation’s children and families requires consistency and longevity on our part,

A photo of a teacher bonding with a toddler in his preschool classroom.
A photo of a teacher bonding with a toddler in his preschool classroom.

but also a sense of urgency. Thank you for sharing our passion to help all children realize their potential and our ambition to change the lives of over 5 million children living in poverty.

A baby’s world changes when she can stand up, gaze with amazement at the horizon, and walk toward it. With your support, the Ounce has taken important steps, and now we’re ready to run.

Thank you,

Diana Mendley Rauner

Diana Mendley Rauner's signature


Curt R. Bailey

Curt R. Bailey's signature


Our Mission

The Ounce of Prevention Fund
gives children in poverty
the best chance for success
in school and in life
by advocating for and providing
the highest-quality care and education
from birth to age five.

A photo of kids playing in playground.
A photo of kids playing in playground.