NAEYC CHILDREN’S CHAMPIONS: SPECIAL UPDATE
December 16, 2011
Exciting Week for Early Childhood!
Grants Awarded Today for Race To The Top – Early Learning Challenge
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.
We look forward to working with and learning from states to create well-financed, high quality, integrated systems for children from birth through age eight. NAEYC has a variety of resources relating to state policies and best practices, including QRIS, professional development systems, program and early learning standards, and our newest resource, a guide for states in designing and implementing a kindergarten entry assessment.
FY 2012 Appropriations Almost Done – Looking Good for Early Childhood
Just in the nick of time to avoid a government shutdown, the House and Senate have agreed on the funding numbers for Fiscal Year 2012. However, we are still holding our breath that the bills will pass today. So this is a heads up and a thank you for all your hard work on appropriations. In a very difficult budget climate, early childhood education did very well.
So here’s what we know (with more details to come):
- Head Start increase of $424 million.
- CCDBG increase of $60 million.
- Title I increase of $60 million.
- Part C Early Intervention increase of $5 million.
- Race to the Top receives $550 million, which is less than last year’s $698 million. The Secretary will determine how much of the $550 million will be dedicated to the Early Learning Challenge. The Statement of Managers accompanying the bill says they “expect that the Secretary will include a robust early childhood component.”
- Striving Readers receives $160 million, of which 15% will go for birth to age five literacy in early childhood programs (community and school-based settings).