After much anticipation, today the Administration announced the nine states that were awarded a Race To The Top – Early Learning Challenge grant. We applaud all states for their momentum, even in difficult fiscal times, in the complex work of building a high quality, robust early childhood system. This new initiative to help build high quality, integrated systems for children from birth to age five reflects many of the innovations in states, such as quality rating and improvement systems, comprehensive early learning standards, professional development systems, data systems, collaboration with health and family support programs, and kindergarten readiness/entry assessments. The investment in the Early Learning Challenge Fund, together with increased investments in child care, Head Start and Early Head Start, and early intervention, will boost the federal-state partnership to meet the goals of a high quality system for young children in all settings and a stronger collaboration and coordination to extend children’s progress through the early grades of school.
The states receiving grants today are: California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington State.
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