The Ardian Foundation
The Ardian Foundation intends to focus on early childhood development in the main countries where Ardian operates. We are currently working with 13 organizations worldwide to support the most vulnerable children aged 0 to 6.”
Ardian and its employees are determined that our success should translate into better opportunities and more positive outcomes for others. Through the Ardian Foundation, we promote social mobility by supporting charities that help children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to benefit from education, training and advice. In 2021, we donated €2.9 million to our 41 charity partners.
The Ardian Foundation has a special focus on early childhood development, an area that is under‑researched and therefore poorly understood. Studies indicate, however, that successful interventions at this stage can produce huge long‑term gains as children develop. To address the lack of provision for very young children, the Foundation has adopted a ‘venture philanthropy’ approach. It means that we back early‑stage, experimental initiatives and provide money and our company‑building expertise to help them develop into large, effective organizations capable of supporting thousands of beneficiaries. Our partnership with the French charity Ensemble pour l’Éducation de la Petite Enfance to support the roll‑out of their ‘First 1,000 days’ centers for parents and babies is our first such project.
Our work on early childhood issues exemplifies the two main strands of the Foundation’s approach. Firstly, we take a curative approach by working with charity partners to address existing inequalities, both by funding their activities and by donating time, skills and expertise to strengthen their organizations. Secondly, we aim to prevent poor outcomes by supporting academic research into education policy and social mobility at the Paris School of Economics, and by encouraging a wider engagement in early childhood issues by experts across a range of disciplines.
Our major strategic priority for the immediate future is to prepare the Foundation for scaling up its activities and deploying larger sums of money over the next few years. Funding research to provide a framework for new early childhood initiatives sows the seeds of our future growth, as does our work to support new organizations in becoming the leaders in this vital field.
In France, one in five children is born into a poor family that is not accessing vital public services.
Our ‘First 1,000 Days’ project brings together groups of ten parents and babies so that our facilitators can help them talk about their challenges and link them to the public services they need. They meet twice a month for the first year of the child’s life and the sessions help these marginalized families to gain confidence, build a support network and integrate better into society which will have a big impact on the children’s life chances.
Nathalie Casso‑Vicarini set up Ensemble pour l’Éducation de la Petite Enfance in 2016 to raise awareness of insights from neuroscience about child development and improve educational provision for the youngest children, where one dollar invested today can save 13 dollars of spending later*. The Ardian Foundation is co‑funding the roll‑out of its ‘First 1,000 Days’ project, which aims to support parents in the most deprived areas of France from the birth of their children onwards.
* Heckman equation 2019; Prof James Heckman, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, 2000.
French referent in the field of early childhood, the charity helps children, parents and professionals by sharing the latest international knowledge to achieve equity.