Washington, D.C. – The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that 20 states have been awarded three-year renewal grants through the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) to implement the strategic plans they developed using first-year planning grants awarded in 2018.
Additionally, 6 states and territories that did not previously received PDG B-5 funding were awarded initial planning grants to complete needs assessments and strategic plans. What’s more, with the increase in funding for the PDG B-5 program approved by Congress this week – from $250 million to $275 million – it is expected that ACF will award renewal grants to at least three additional states.
A full list of the states can be found here. We will continue to update as more information becomes available.
PDG B-5 is a competitive federal grant program established in December 2015 as part of the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The goal of PDG B-5 is to help states: maximize parental choice, improve transitions within early learning and care programs, and improve the overall quality of programs. These goals are intended to improve states’ existing early childhood landscapes by building upon active federal, state, and local early care and learning investments. The first year of grant funding was awarded to 46 states at the end of 2018, and funded state-level needs assessments and strategic plans to optimize existing early childhood education resources.
“When the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five program was created by Congress, it was a bipartisan victory for children and families across the country,” said First Five Years Fund (FFYF) executive director Sarah Rittling. “Through this program, Congress is giving states an opportunity to build and expand early learning systems that best suit the needs of the families and communities they serve – both today and for the future. After a successful first year of planning, the grants announced this week will allow states to implement plans that strengthen the quality and availability of early learning and care across programs for children who need it most. PDG B-5 has received broad bipartisan support from local, state, and federal leaders since its inception, and FFYF will continue working with policymakers to ensure it receives the highest possible funding for years to come.”
In September, FFYF and other advocates sent a letter to ACF outlining recommendations for how the criteria for a second year of grant funding might be designed. The recommendations included: continuity of funding levels, encouraging partner engagement, and providing technical support to states. Additionally, PDG B-5 has received bipartisan praise from lawmakers and governors.
This week, in addition to increases to Head Start and Child Care Development Block Grant funding, Congress increased FY2020 funding for Preschool Development Grants by $25 million above FY2019 funding.
The First Five Years Fund is the leading bipartisan federal advocacy organization working to ensure all children from birth through age five have equal access to affordable, comprehensive, high-quality care and education to support their healthy development and help them achieve their full potential in school and life. FFYF seeks to expand federal support for all early learning and care opportunities that are high-quality and focused first on serving those children most-at-risk. http://www.ffyf.org