A new Education Dept. (DoEd) report shows that the $1 billion Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge grants distributed to 20 states are rapidly improving the quality of early learning programs, especially for those children from low- and moderate income families.
The report comes from the annual performance reviews for the 20 states that have received more than $1 billion in Early Learning Challenge grants (CFDA Number: 84.419) since 2011. These reports capture the successes achieved and obstacles overcome by states in the last year.
“By investing in high-quality early learning through programs like the Early Learning Challenge, states are giving many more children a strong start in life,” Education Secy. Arne Duncan said. “Thanks to the leadership of governors, state officials and education advocates, these states are implementing plans to develop high-quality early learning systems that improve the quality of learning and provide our youngest citizens with the strong foundation they need for success in school and beyond.”
The Early Learning Challenge is a historic federal investment that supports states in building strong systems of early learning and development to ensure that underserved children.
- More than 72,000 early learning and development programs are now evaluated under their states’ Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (TQRIS) – an 87% increase since the states applied for their grants.
- Significantly more children with high needs are enrolled in programs in the highest quality tiers of their states’ rating system.
- More than 200,000 children with high needs are enrolled in highest rated state-funded preschool programs.
- Nearly 230,000 children with high needs are enrolled in child care programs that receive federal child care subsidy funds and are in the highest tiers.
Finally, more than 150,000 children with high needs are enrolled in Head Start/Early Head Start programs in the highest tiers.