Media contact: K. Shiek Pal
Phone: (202) 248-5077

The First Five Years Fund (FFYF) applauds the U.S. Department of Education for incorporating early learning provisions into today’s Race to the Top District competition proposal.

“We appreciate the Department’s acknowledgment that high-quality early learning makes an important contribution to achieving our nation’s K-12 education goals,” said K. Shiek Pal, Director of Policy & Government Relations for the First Five Years Fund. “Today’s announcement reflects an ongoing commitment to early learning as the foundation for better education outcomes for children and greater upward mobility for their families.”

Coordination of early learning with the K-12 system is a critical element to realizing the goal that all students graduate college- and career-ready, and FFYF supports the Department’s language allowing applicants to focus on preschool through third grade approaches that integrate early learning with the early elementary grades. The “cradle to career” provision and the competitive preference priority on comprehensive services are also welcome additions.

FFYF lauded the Department’s announcement earlier this year of a second round of Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge funding to support state frameworks for quality early education and eagerly awaits an announcement detailing how these funds will be disbursed.

The full district competition draft, as well as an executive summary, can be viewed here.