18 States Awarded New Preschool Development Grants to Increase Access to High-Quality Preschool Programs

Archived Information

18 States Awarded New Preschool Development Grants to Increase Access to High-Quality Preschool Programs

December 10, 2014

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced today that 18 states have been awarded grants, totaling more than $226 million, under the Preschool Development Grants program.

From the 36 applications the departments received, five states will be awarded development grants: Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii, Montana and Nevada. Thirteen will receive expansion grants: Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.

"Expanding access to high-quality preschool is critically important to ensure the success of our children in school and beyond," said Secretary Duncan. "The states that have received new Preschool Development Grants will serve as models for expanding preschool to all 4-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families. These states are demonstrating a strong commitment to building and enhancing early learning systems, closing equity gaps and expanding opportunity so that more children in America can fulfill their greatest potential."

Under the grant program, states with either small or no state-funded preschool programs were eligible for development grants, while states with more robust preschool programs, or that have received Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grants, were eligible for expansion grants. Twelve states that have not previously received funding from RTT-ELC will receive funding from the jointly-administered Preschool Development Grant program (see list below).

Through these Preschool Development Grant awards, more than 33,000 additional children will be served in high-quality preschool programs that meet high-quality standards in the first year of the program alone. States receiving grants will develop or expand high-quality preschool programs in regionally diverse communities—from urban neighborhoods to small towns to tribal areas—as determined by the state. Preschool programs funded under either category of grants must meet the criteria for high-quality preschool programs. To support states in planning their budgets, the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services developed annual budget caps for each state that is eligible to receive a Preschool Development Grant. The departments developed grant funding categories by ranking every state according to its relative share of eligible children and then identifying the natural breaks in the rank order. Then, based on population, budget caps were developed for each category.

The grants were part of more than $1 billion in new federal and private sector investments in early childhood education announced by President Obama during today's White House Summit on Early Education. The President also announced a new public awareness campaign called "Invest in US" in partnership with the First Five Years Fund.

Today's announcements include:

  • Up to $750 million in new federal awards to reach more than 63,000 additional children in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Mariana Islands with high-quality early education;
  • More than $330 million in private-sector commitments to expand the reach and enhance the quality of early education.

The Preschool Development Grants program will lay the groundwork to ensure that more states are ready to participate in the Preschool for All initiative proposed by the Obama Administration. President Obama is committed to closing the opportunity gap and working with states and local communities to ensure high-quality early learning for every child, so that all children enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and in life. The President's 2014 budget request would create a federal-state partnership that ensures universal access to voluntary, high-quality preschool for all 4-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families, with incentives for states to provide high-quality preschool for these children. It also includes support for other early childhood investments as part of a cohesive system of early learning and development for children, beginning with prenatal care and continuing through third grade.

Winning states:

Development Grants (Year One):

  • Alabama, $17,500,000
  • Arizona, $20,000,000
  • Hawaii, $2,074,059
  • Montana, $10,000,000
  • Nevada, $6,405,860

Total: $55,979,919

Expansion Grants (Year One):

RTT-ELC States:

  • Illinois, $20,000,000
  • Maryland, $15,000,000
  • Massachusetts, $15,000,000
  • New Jersey, $17,498,115
  • Rhode Island, $2,290,840
  • Vermont, $7,231,681

Total: $77,020,636

Non RTT-ELC States (Year One):

  • Arkansas, $14,993,000
  • Connecticut, $12,499,000
  • Louisiana, $2,437,982
  • Maine, $3,497,319
  • New York, $24,991,372
  • Tennessee, $17,500,000
  • Virginia, $17,500,000

Total: $93,418,673