History

The Foundation for Child Development (FCD) is the oldest private, independent, grantmaking foundation in the nation with a sustained focus on improving the life prospects of children. Over the course of its 100-plus-year history, FCD has contributed to the field of child development by supporting research, policy formation, programs, and advocacy.

Compared with the nation's largest philanthropies, FCD's endowment is modest. Yet FCD has had an impact that exceeds its assets. It has nurtured groundbreaking work in diverse areas of child development - physical, cognitive, social, and emotional. It has been a leader in prevention, in two-generational strategies, and in advocacy for low-income children and their families.

FCD was incorporated as a voluntary agency in New York in 1899, and established as the Association for the Aid of Crippled Children (AACC) in 1908. Voluntary contributions from the public supported AACC until 1944, when substantial funds were received from the estate of Milo M. Belding to honor his wife, Annie K. Belding.

In recognition of its evolving program and of its status as a grantmaking organization, the Association changed its name in 1972 to the Foundation for Child Development. In 1999, FCD celebrated its centennial. Read more about our history in 100 Years of Commitment to Children: Change and Continuity and in Our Basic Dream.  

Since 2003, FCD has promoted PreK-3rd, the seamless continuity of educational experience for children ages three to eight to provide the first initial essential foundation for lifelong learning.  Visit Our Work to learn more.

FCD archives from 1909 - 2000 are located at the Rockefeller Archive Center. To view a description of the collection visit FCD at the Rockefeller Archive Center 1909 -1996 and 1997-2000.