A better start is a lifetime advantage.


Since 85-90% of brain development takes place from birth to age five, the Rauch Foundation has focused its grantmaking for Children and Families on initiatives that intervene early in life, programs that promote strong supportive families and improve outcomes for disadvantaged children, and public policies that create and support these programs.

In our grantmaking, we are inspired by the wisdom of James Heckman, economist and recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Economics, who remarked:

"Investments that bolster parenting capacities of families are the most effective way to promote social mobility and foster equal opportunities for all. They empower children with the capabilities to flourish as dignified and engaged citizens and workers throughout their lives. Such investments provide significant returns to individuals and society, provided that we invest in quality systems throughout the critical years of birth to age five."

Our grantmaking strategy is this: by improving adult capacities in relation to how they interact, support and nurture children, we can improve child outcomes.

The Foundation has, therefore, supported programs that advance the following, among other objectives: enhance early learning; advance developmental promotion, early detection, and linkages to social services; increase access to quality child care; improve school readiness; expand pre-K programming; increase child and parent literacy and school engagement; promote equity in education.

Our primary focus in this regard is on Long Island and its children and families, including models that will benefit children and families more broadly. Through this funding, we hope to enhance the lifetime advantage that comes from a better start.

Children and Screens

How is digital media enhancing or impairing children’s ability to live happy, healthy, and productive lives? How are years of electronically mediated interactions shaping children’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development? What should we do about it? Read more.

Docs for Tots

About 1 in 5 children have developmental disorders or delays in speech, cognition, or overall. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends standardized developmental screening, yet surveys show that fewer than half of health care providers screen at the recommended ages using evidenced-based screens. As a result, fewer than 30% of children with developmental disorders or delays are identified before entering school. Read more.

Investing in America's Youngest Citizens

Recently the Foundation conducted research on government funding – nationally, by individual states and internationally – of early childhood, early education and related programs. The results of that research can be viewed below and is designed for use by academics and others interested in the field. Read more.