The Forkhead Box m1 (Foxm1) transcription factor is expressed in cardiomyocytes and cardiac endothelial cells during heart development. In this study, we used a novel Foxm1 −/− mouse line to demonstrate that Foxm1-deletion causes ventricular hypoplasia and diminished DNA replication and mitosis in developing cardiomyocytes. Proliferation defects in Foxm1 −/− hearts were associated with a reduced expression of Cdk1-activator Cdc25B phosphatase and NFATc3 transcription factor, and with abnormal nuclear accumulation of the Cdk-inhibitor p21Cip1 protein. Depletion of Foxm1 levels by siRNA caused altered expression of these genes in cultured HL-1 cardiomyocytes. Endothelial-specific deletion of the Foxm1 fl/fl allele in Tie2-Cre Foxm1 fl/fl embryos did not influence heart development and cardiomyocyte proliferation. Foxm1 protein binds to the −9,259/−9,288-bp region of the endogenous mouse NFATc3 promoter, indicating that Foxm1 is a transcriptional activator of the NFATc3 gene. Foxm1 regulates expression of genes essential for the proliferation of cardiomyocytes during heart development. Developmental Dynamics 236:1000–1013, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.