As of late last week, we have the biggest confirmed update to date about the Preschool Development Grant (PDG) program. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) [in consultation with the Department of Education (ED)] has released a Funding Forecast for the new Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5). This funding forecast alerts potential grantees of important funding opportunities on the horizon as part of the Preschool Development Grants program. The resource released by ACF provides estimated deadlines and a brief description of the forthcoming grant opportunity so that states seeking to apply can inform their planning and next steps.

Now equipped with the PDG B-5 funding forecast, states are one step closer to building upon the bipartisan wins for early learning achieved under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). When ESSA passed in December of 2015, it included the new PDG program, demonstrating a deliberate effort to increase the connection between the early learning and K-12 systems. National advocates have voiced their support for successfully implementing the new grant, as have members in both the House and the Senate.

The new PDG B-5 seeks to empower state governments to lead the way in leveraging Federal, State and local early care and learning investments. Funds are for States to help coordinate early care and learning programs and services that already exist based on identified needs and must not be used to create new early care and learning programs. This grant seeks to assist States in providing struggling children an equal opportunity to a quality educational foundation that will prepare them to grow, learn, and succeed, and in helping improve the transitions from the early care and learning setting to elementary school. The PDG B-5 grant initiative will assist States in the coordination of their existing early care and learning services and funding streams for the purpose of providing equal access to more children birth through age five in a mixed delivery model. ACF is expecting to award 40 grants with a floor of $500,000 and ceiling of $10,000,000.

Next steps for PDG B-5 applicants will be further clarified in the official Funding Announcement Opportunity (FOA), which the forecast estimates will be August 14, 2018.

To read the funding forecast, click here.