Last week, the Department took another step to support young children when it released the application for the second Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge competition (RTT-ELC), inviting states to apply for $280 million in awards.
RTT-ELC is intended to improve the quality of early learning and development programs and to close educational gaps for children with high needs, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Collaboration and coordination with IDEA’s early childhood programs is an element of the RTT-ELC.
In Fiscal Year 2011 and 2012, fourteen states were awarded grants: California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon and Wisconsin. These states are working hard to improve access to beneficial early learning and development programs which will help influence children entering grade school to have a positive outlook in order to achieve their academic and life-long goals.
The RTT-ELC competition focuses on five key areas of reform:
- Successful State Systems
- High-Quality, Accountable Programs
- Promoting Early Learning and Development Outcomes for Children
- A Great Early Childhood Education Workforce
- Measuring Outcomes and Progress
Grant awards will range from $37.5 million up to $75 million, and this will all depend on the state’s share of the general population of children up to 5 years old from low-income families and their proposed plans. Applications are due on October 16, 2013, and the Departments will announce winners in December.
To view the application and learn more about the RTT-ELC program, visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-earlylearningchallenge