The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education Announce New Investments in Statewide Systems of Early Learning

4/9/12
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education announced that $133 million from the 2012 Race to the Top fund will be available for state level, statewide, comprehensive early education reform.  The Departments announced today that they would fund down last year’s slate (the 2011 Race to the Top Early Learning fund applications) to invite the next five highest scoring states (Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon and Wisconsin) to apply.

The $133 million for additional Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge state level grants will come from $550 million appropriated for FY2012. As announced today, the Departments intend to use the remaining $417 million for a new district-level Race to the Top competition. At this point, we do not have any more details (ie., whether the remaining funds would be used solely for Race to the Top K-12, whether there would be an embedded early learning system component included, or whether any of the $417 million would potentially be awarded separately to districts).  Press releases from the Department of Education and Department of HHS are posted on their web sites.

Funding down the list rewards states that earned at least 75 percent of possible points available in the 2011 competition.  The five states will each be eligible to apply for up to 50 percent of last year’s potential award.

There are many opportunities for CCR&Rs to play in strengthening the quality of child care and in working with parents to find and select high quality care.  To view the proposals submitted last year, see the Department of Education’s web site.

As soon as information is available about the intentions with regard to district level competitions, we will share that information with you. As for now, all we know is that details will be forthcoming this spring.

Source: National Association for Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies
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