Local Early Childhood Advisory Councils (LECACS)

The Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant has enabled Maryland to create a seamless Birth-to-Grade 12 reform agenda to ensure that all young children and their families are supported in the state’s efforts to overcome school readiness gaps.  This has allowed Maryland to move early childhood education from a good system to a great system.


Through the Preschool Development Grant: Building a Birth – 5 system (PDG B-5), the local early childhood advisory councils had the opportunity to apply for quality improvement grants for up to $25,000. Grant funds will be provided to meet professional development needs that may be revealed in the PDG B-5 needs assessment, may strengthen community engagement activities to increase provider quality, or may support quality improvement in other areas.  This includes transitions, establishing communities of practice, and initiatives that are most needed in their jurisdiction.

The purpose of the local early childhood advisory council quality improvement grant is:

  • To develop, update, or implement a strategic plan that facilitates collaboration and coordination among existing programs of early childhood care and education in a mixed delivery system within Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions, designed to prepare low-income and disadvantaged children to enter kindergarten, and to improve transitions from such system into the local educational agency or elementary school that enrolls such children.
  • To encourage partnerships among Head Start providers, State and local governments, private entities (including faith and community-based entities), and local school systems (LSS) to improve coordination, program quality, and delivery of services.
  • To maximize parental choice among a mixed delivery system of early childhood care and education program providers.
  • To support jurisdictions to analyze the current landscape of mixed delivery system of early childhood care and education and implement changes to the system that maximize the availability of high-quality early childhood care and education options for low-income and disadvantaged families across providers and partners, improve the quality of care, streamline administrative infrastructure, and improve local-level early childhood care and education funding efficiencies.
  • To assist with overcoming local school readiness achievement gaps, as measured by the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, for children with high needs, including children from low-income families, children with disabilities, and English Learners.
  • To assist with improving the early childhood service delivery system in each local jurisdiction to help maximize local resources for early childhood through collaboration and consistent coordination.

Sustainability

Local Councils must describe plans for continuing the project beyond the funding cycle.  Answering questions such as; how will the project be sustained after funding ends, what are the plans for maintaining the project’s partnerships, and how do council member’s transitions impact the effectiveness of the council?

Length of Grants:

July 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019


The LECACs have a common set of goals:

  • To establish annual benchmarks of school readiness skills of children entering kindergarten.
  • To conduct a periodic local needs assessment concerning. the quality and availability of early childhood education and development programs and services
  • To develop an action plan for increasing the overall participation of children in existing programs, including outreach to underrepresented and special populations, elevating the quality of existing programs and coordinating the RTT-ELC goals and objectives at the local level.
  • To coordinate early childhood initiatives and reforms locally.
  • To report progress or challenges to the Governor’s State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care. 

The LECAC Chairs/Co-Chairs Contact List (PDF) provides names and contact information for each county.

Download the recommended Local ECAC Bylaws Template.

For more information about the Local ECAC, please email: collaboration.programimprovement@maryland.gov