ICYMI: Back to School for Early Learners with Promise of Preschool Development Grants
As children across the country start school – many for the first time – it’s important to recognize the federal investments and partnerships that help make high-quality early childhood education experiences possible – particularly for children from low-income families. With back-to-school season drawing to a close, make sure you check out the latest op-ed by First Five Years Fund (FFYF) Executive Director Sarah Rittling in The 74 regarding the new Preschool Development Program.
“Federal investments have helped fund and strengthen our country’s education system for decades — and the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act more fully incorporates state and local efforts to expand early childhood education and the connections that exist between early learning and the K-12 system,” Rittling writes. “It also establishes a new birth-through-5 program, the Preschool Development Grants program, meant to empower states to identify ways to more effectively and efficiently make advances in these areas.”
FFYF applauds the efforts of Congress to establish and fund this program, and encourages all states, territories, and commonwealths to apply for the grants. To learn more about the new Preschool Development Grant Birth-through-Five (PDG B-5) program, visit FFYF’s website or see additional information below.
By Incorporating The New PDG Program Into Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Congress Affirms Bipartisan Commitment To Advancing Access To Early Learning. “By incorporating the new Preschool Development Grant program into ESSA, Congress affirmed the importance of early learning, beginning at birth, to the law’s goals of advancing equal access to education and the central role of states in leading early childhood coordination, quality, and access efforts. It is also a small but mighty step by the government to support states’ unique and varied early childhood efforts by building upon current federal, state, and local early care and learning investments, as well as increase connections between early learning and K-12 systems within states.” (Sarah Rittling, “Rittling: How New ESSA Preschool Development Grants Will Help States Build a Foundation of Success For Our Littlest Learners,” The 74, 9/2/18)
New PDG Grants Empower States To Make Investments In Early Learning To Best Serve Families In Their Communities.“Through their competitive structure, the new grants will put states and communities in the driver’s seat when it comes to leveraging federal, state, and local investments in early learning and care to improve options for parents and children. The collaboration fostered by the grants will ensure resources are used effectively and encourage the sharing of best practices among early learning providers, ultimately leading to an improved continuum of care for young learners.” (Sarah Rittling, “Rittling: How New ESSA Preschool Development Grants Will Help States Build a Foundation of Success For Our Littlest Learners,” The 74, 9/2/18)
FFYF Executive Director Sarah Rittling Highlights Importance Of Academic, Social, And Cognitive Development From Birth Through Age Five In Opinion Piece Touting New PDG Program. “It is widely understood that high-quality early childhood education from birth through age 5 lays the foundation for school readiness, cognitive development, and strong social skills. This awareness, coupled with the fact that the cost of quality care is rapidly outpacing most other family expenses, has helped spur policymakers at all levels of government to create and expand early learning opportunities.” (Sarah Rittling, “Rittling: How New ESSA Preschool Development Grants Will Help States Build a Foundation of Success For Our Littlest Learners,” The 74, 9/2/18)