35 States and Puerto Rico Submit Applications for New Preschool Development Grants Competition to Increase Access to High-Quality Preschool Programs

Archived Information

35 States and Puerto Rico Submit Applications for New Preschool Development Grants Competition to Increase Access to High-Quality Preschool Programs

October 27, 2014

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today that 35 states and Puerto Rico have applied for grants under the new $250 million Preschool Development Grants program (See list below). Over 25 high-need communities in approximately 12-15 states will benefit from Preschool Development Grants funding by significantly expanding their preschool programs 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 goal of Preschool Development Grants is to support states—including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico—in building, developing and expanding 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.

“Expanding access to high-quality preschool is the single most important step we can take to improve the future of our children,” said Secretary Duncan. “The states applying for the Preschool Development Grants are demonstrating their commitment to partner with the federal government in providing educational opportunities that can help close the equity gaps that exist in our country and prepare our young children—especially those with high needs—for success in kindergarten, through elementary school and beyond. I'm thrilled to see so many Governors doing the right thing to help the children and families in their states.”

“The brain research is clear: investing in the earliest years is critical for our children and our future economy,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “Preschool Development Grants along with Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships and Home Visiting programs will help provide more children with the building blocks of healthy and productive lives.”

Under the Preschool Development Grants program, states with either small or no state-funded preschool programs are eligible for Development Grants, while states with more robust state-funded preschool programs, or that have received Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grants, are eligible for Expansion Grants. The U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services intend for high-quality preschool programs to 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.

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 2015 budget request would create a federal-state partnership that would ensure universal access to high-quality preschool for all 4-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families, with incentives for states to provide high-quality preschool for all 4-year-olds. 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.

 States That Submitted Applications for the FY 2014 Preschool Development Grants

States are listed alphabetically.  The list is also available here.

Preschool Development Grants -- DEVELOPMENT GRANTS

1. Alabama

2. Arizona

3. Hawaii

4. Mississippi

5. Missouri

6. Montana

7. Nevada

8. New Hampshire

9. Puerto Rico

 Preschool Development Grants -- EXPANSION GRANTS

1. Arkansas

2. California

3. Colorado

4. Connecticut

5. Delaware

6. Georgia

7. Illinois

8. Kentucky

9. Louisiana

10. Maine

11. Maryland

12. Massachusetts

13. Minnesota

14. New Jersey

15. New Mexico

16. New York

17. North Carolina

18. Ohio

19. Oregon

20. Pennsylvania

21. Rhode Island

22. South Carolina

23. Tennessee

24. Texas

25. Vermont

26. Virginia

27. Washington State