Race to the Top — Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) Program

Public Comment Section for RTT-ELC Executive Summary Now Closed

Thank you to everyone who has submitted opinions, ideas, suggestions, and comments on this dedicated Web site pertaining to the draft executive summary of the draft requirements, priorities, selection criteria, and definitions for the RTT-ELC competition.

We are no longer accepting input on our Web site. Later this summer, we will publish the Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for the RTT-ELC Program in the Federal Register.

Please check our RTT-ELC Program page for updates.

Thank you.


Secretaries Duncan and Sebelius

On May 25, 2011, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced that the Administration plans to use approximately $500 million of the FY11 Race to the Top funding for a major competition in support of bold and comprehensive State plans for raising the quality of early learning programs. Watch the announcement or listen to a conference call with stakeholders.

This new competition, the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC), will be jointly administered by the Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS). The competition will call for States to take a comprehensive approach to developing integrated, high-quality early learning systems, which in turn will help ensure that more children, especially high-need children, enter school ready and able to succeed.

Specific competition requirements, priorities, and selection criteria are still under development. However, consistent with the statute, applicant States will need to take actions to:

  • Increase the number and percentage of low-income and disadvantaged children in each age group of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who are enrolled in high-quality early learning programs;
  • Design and implement an integrated system of high-quality early learning programs and services; and
  • Ensure that any use of assessments conforms with the recommendations of the National Research Council’s reports on early childhood.

In order to run a rigorous competition and obligate funds to grantees before December 31, 2011, the ED plans to waive rulemaking on this new program, pursuant to its authority in the General Education Provisions Act. However, ED and HHS are very interested in your input. We encourage all interested parties to submit opinions, ideas, suggestions and comments pertaining to the RTT-ELC competition below.

This is a moderated site. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. We intend to post all responsive submissions on a timely basis. We reserve the right not to post comments that are unrelated to this request, are inconsistent with ED’s Web site policies, are advertisements or endorsements, or are otherwise inappropriate. To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information such as Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. For more information, please be sure to read the “comments policy” tab at the top of the Web page.

The fine print. Please understand that posts must be related to the RTT-ELC competition and program, and should be as specific as possible, and, as appropriate, supported by data and relevant research. Posts must be limited to 1,000 words. All opinions, ideas, suggestions and comments are considered informal input. ED and HHS will not respond to individual posts, and these posts may or may not be reflected in the policies and requirements of the program. If you include a link to additional information in your post, we urge you to ensure that the linked-to information is accessible to all individuals, including individuals with disabilities. Additionally, please do not include links to advertisements or endorsements; we will delete all such links before your comment is posted.

Again, thank you for your interest in this historic opportunity to support early learning. We look forward to hearing from you.