Two-Generation Lens

Two-Generation Lens

We’ve partnered with the William Penn Foundation to explore two-generation approaches to support early childhood development and education in the Philadelphia region and beyond.

Download the funder brief

As a donor interested in early childhood, sooner or later you are likely to hear a program, project, or approach described as “two-generation” or “dual-generation.” Here’s our working definition of what this means:

A strategy or approach to promote young children’s healthy development by developing the capabilities and resources of parents or caregivers.

In many ways, this is an old concept – many well-established and well-regarded programs have done this for years. More recently, some funders have used the phrase to describe efforts that explicitly link the provision of services for children (such as quality childcare) with the provision of services for their parents (such as employment counseling or housing assistance).

While there are high impact approaches that do not address two generations at once, adding a two-generation lens to inform an early childhood investment strategy may increase the impact of a portfolio of investments. This brief contains additional background information and tips for donors seeking that impact, including the following:

  • the reasoning and evidence behind the “two-generation” idea;
  • different ways of implementing two-generation approaches;
  • and examples of successful programs that have employed a two-generation approach to solving problems affecting young children