Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Education (ED) announced that 46 states and territories have been awarded funding through the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5), a $250 million competitive federal grant designed to improve states’ existing early childhood landscape by building upon existing federal, state, and local early care and learning investments.
This important funding will help states ensure the early learning and care opportunities they’re creating are supporting their youngest learners with quality education and developmental support.
The PDG program was established as part of the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act, which became law in 2015. An astounding 47 states and territories applied for funding last year. And governors from red and blue states alike that were awarded PDG B-5 funding celebrated the news.
- Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL)
- “We welcome these much-needed funds to help us focus on building a strong foundation for Alabama’s children. As we continue to grow our First Class Pre-K program, we must also expand its learning methods through third grade.”
- Governor John Carney (D-DE)
- “This grant will help us improve the design of our early childhood system to help all children receive the highest quality early learning experiences and be ready for a successful transition to kindergarten.”
- Former Governor Bruce Rauner (R-IL)
- “Decades of research have shown us that children who have a strong educational and developmental foundation before they start kindergarten are much more likely to be successful later in life. The PDG B-5 grant will bolster our commitment to making sure that every child in Illinois is well-prepared for kindergarten and beyond.”
- Governor Matt Bevin (R-KY)
- “We are grateful to be one of only six states awarded the top funding amount through the ESSA Preschool Development Grant. This significant federal allocation will help Kentucky to continue strengthening our early childhood education system. By enhancing our quality of resources and through expanded parental choice and engagement, especially among our most vulnerable children and families, we will continue our exciting progress.”
- Governor Phil Bryant (R-MS)
- “MS has been awarded $10.62 million for the Preschool Development Grant – from birth to 5. My State Early Childhood Advisory Council, in partnership with (Mississippi Department of Human Services), has developed a system that focuses on achieving and maintaining high quality childcare services.”
- Governor Mike Parson (R-MO)
- “We are proud and excited about the partnership among the Governor’s Office, the Missouri Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education, Health and Senior Services, Mental Health and Social Services, the Missouri Head Start State Collaboration Office, and the Missouri Foundation for Health that brought this grant to reality. The grant will allow Missouri to offer even stronger services to our youngest students and their families.”
- Governor Pete Ricketts (R-NE)
- “I am confident that this grant will lead to the improvement of Nebraska’s early childhood care and education mixed delivery system serving children from birth through age five. DHHS has a long and successful history of partnering with NDE and other child focused entities for the benefit of Nebraska’s youngest children and their families.”
- Governor Phil Murphy (D-NJ)
- “New Jersey’s children deserve access to the highest-quality education possible, regardless of location or socioeconomic status. The NJ Preschool Development Collaboration will foster critical educational opportunities and provide children and educators with the opportunity to work together to ensure that our children receive the tools they need to achieve their greatest potential.”
- Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)
- “Quality early learning services for children birth to five play an essential role in making sure that kids enter kindergarten with the best possible foundation. As I’ve said many times, early learning is a priority.”
- Governor Roy Cooper (D-NC)
- “Every young child in our state deserves a strong start in a safe and nurturing family and early learning opportunities. Winning this grant represents our continued commitment to that goal and a step forward in improving opportunities for North Carolina’s children.”
- Governor Tom Wolf (D-PA)
- “I am committed to investing in young children and their futures. That starts by continuing to make early education a priority for Pennsylvania. Supporting children as they move from preschool to kindergarten helps them succeed in the classroom. This early success creates opportunities for them to do well in school for years to come.”
The first year of the PDG B-5 will fund state-level needs assessments and strategic planning to optimize existing early childhood education resources. The grants focus on three major activities: maximizing parental choice, improving transitions within early care and learning programs and with elementary schools; and improving overall quality of ECE programs. This funding offers a unique opportunity for states to consider the full range of programs, services, and funding streams that support children birth through age five and their families.
Learn more about the new Preschool Development Grant B-5 program.