Elizabeth Palmer Peabody was born in May 1804 into two prominent American families: her maternal Palmer family and her paternal Peabody relations. Elizabeth's experimental kindergarten received backing from many walks of life, including influential governmental leaders. Elizabeth Peabody's kindergartens became beacons of light throughout the United States as models for future early education practices. Her education of a kindergartener was a life-long learning process that needed continuous professional development. The German model for the education of young children, from three to seven years of age, was predicated on a philosophy kindred to Elizabeth Peabody's Transcendentalism in its belief of innate ideas and a universal goodness in all humans. Elizabeth intended to replicate Frederick Froebel's approaches and philosophy and blend his ideas with her goals. Key to Elizabeth Peabody's reform efforts was teacher training. The teaching of reading was paramount in the educational process.