On October 27, 2014, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced that 35 states and Puerto Rico have applied for grants under the new $250 million Preschool Development Grants program. By significantly expanding their preschool programs, over 25 high-need communities in approximately 12-15 states will benefit from Preschool Development Grants funding so that a large portion of their at risk 4-year-olds start school prepared. States will agree to uphold standards for high-quality preschool programs in the communities that are funded.
The objective of Preschool Development Grants is to give states needed support—including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico—in building, developing and growing voluntary, high-quality preschool programs in high-need communities for children from low- and moderate-income families. The grant program—jointly administered by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services--will lay the groundwork to ensure that more states are ready to participate in the Preschool for All initiative proposed by the Obama Administration.
With the Preschool Development Grants program, states with either small or no state-funded preschool programs are qualified for Development Grants, while states with more vigorous state-funded preschool programs, or that have received Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grants, are qualified for Expansion Grants. The U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services are aiming to have high-quality preschool programs be located in regionally diverse communities, or consortia of communities, in cities, towns, counties, neighborhoods, districts or rural or tribal areas with a high level of need or distress as determined by the state. Preschool programs funded under either category of grants will need to meet the competition's criteria for high-quality preschool programs. Awards will be made in December 2014.
Click here to view the States That Submitted Applications for the FY 2014 Preschool Development Grants