The Maryland State Department of Education has received a $10.6 million federal grant to help improve programs for children, birth to five, throughout the State.
The Preschool Development Grant will allow Maryland to conduct a needs assessment on the availability and quality of early childhood programs, and develop a strategic plan to fuel continued improvement.
“Early childhood education provides a strong foundation for future success in the classroom,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “This federal grant will help expand educational opportunities for our youngest learners and give our children the start they deserve.”
Maryland’s new grant is one of 45 recently announced by the US Department of Health and Human Services. The $10,618,584 grant is one of the largest awarded in the current cycle of the Preschool Development Grant program.
“This critical funding allows Maryland to strengthen collaboration and program improvement throughout our State on behalf of our youngest learners,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. “By enhancing care and education for Pre-K students, particularly those from low-income households, we are investing in the future of our State.”
Maryland’s grant will help the State develop a plan to better utilize existing federal, state, local, and non-governmental resources to improve delivery of services, as well as to increase the number of children in high quality programs. Specifically, the grant will allow Maryland to:
- Hold eight regional Town Halls as part of a Prenatal to Age 5 needs assessment for the delivery of childcare services, focusing on the State’s most vulnerable children.
- Provide funding for all 24 local Early Childhood Advisory Councils.
- Provide training and coaching for nearly 200 early childhood educators on Maryland’s new integrated curriculum for 4-year-olds.
- Modernize its early childhood data system.
- Support the expansion of the Maryland EXCELS program, a voluntary quality rating system for childcare programs.
- Develop an inventory of early childhood education programs at Maryland higher education institutions.
- Invest in family engagement activities.
- Provide grants for libraries to support children without access to early childhood programs.
Maryland’s new grant is initially for a single year, but MSDE intends to apply for a three-year renewal grant.
More on the federal Preschool Development Grant program can be found here: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/resource/pdg-b-5-initiative
More on the Maryland Preschool Development Grant application submission can be found here: https://earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org/PDG