Start Early

Start Early (formerly known as the Ounce of Prevention) is a nonprofit public-private partnership advancing quality early learning and care for families with children, before birth through their earliest years, to help close the opportunity gap. For nearly 40 years, Start Early has delivered best-in-class doula, home visiting and Early Head Start and Head Start programs. Bringing expertise in program delivery, research and evaluation, professional development and policy and advocacy, Start Early works in partnership with communities and other experts to drive systemic change so that millions more children, families and educators can thrive.

Chicago, Illinois
Non-Profit Organization Management
201-500 employees
Founded 1982

Champions for Early Learning


Start Early advances quality early learning for families with children, before birth through their earliest years, to help close the opportunity gap.


Our core values lay the foundation for our identity and the way we do our work. They reflect our ongoing commitment to instilling a culture that makes Start Early a great place to work and supports our role as a catalyst for change.

Learn more about our core values.

Diversity & Inclusion

Applying a racial equity lens to our work is critical to ensuring we deliver on our mission and live out our core values. Through the leadership of our Advancing Racial Equity Taskforce, we are building awareness and advancing racial equity throughout our organization.

Start Early commits to strengthening and deepening its journey towards becoming an anti-racist organization that works in true partnership with communities to ensure equitable access to high-quality early childhood experiences.

Learn more about our Advancing Racial Equity work.


We are a national organization headquartered in Chicago, with offices in Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Springfield, Illinois, and remote employees nationwide. In addition, Start Early operates Educare Chicago, an early learning school on Chicago‚Äôs South Side. We are recruiting individuals who want to join us in advancing our mission and share a commitment to our core values.

Become part of our rewarding, mission-driven culture. We want our employees to feel empowered, motivated, energized and passionate about the work they do.

Our generous benefit plan includes: comprehensive health plans, 401(k) contribution, 6 months paid parental leave, volunteer days off, holistic wellness program, weekly yoga sessions, a professional development program, and much more. 

Social impact

Start Early (formerly known as the Ounce) applies our deep expertise across program, policy and research to optimize and scale our work. Our comprehensive approach allows us to create impact for the greatest number of children, families and educators.

  • We directly deliver quality programs that support the healthy development of children and parents.
  • We develop and deploy program, policy, and research innovations that build a stronger early childhood workforce and enable policymakers to build equitable systems.
  • We connect communities to share knowledge and accelerate progress.

Learn more about our impact.

Opportunities at Start Early