Six States Awarded Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) Grants

Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont will each receive a share of the 2013 Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) $280 million grant fund to improve quality and to expand access to early learning programs throughout their States. The 6 winning States join 14 existing State grantees; 20 States will now have additional Federal resources to support their reform agendas for early childhood education.

“We continue to work on efforts that will provide every child the opportunity for a high-quality early childhood development program,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Early Childhood Development Linda K. Smith. “Thanks to the leadership of U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and their ability to work with governors, State officials, and early education advocates across the now 20 ELC States, thousands more of our youngest children will receive a stronger foundation needed to succeed in school and in life.”

RTT-ELC is jointly administered by the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS). “The Obama Administration has consistently been raising the bar for quality in early education programs,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius. “Providing a strong foundation for all children to learn through life is an investment in our Nation’s economic future.”

Through this competition, the Obama Administration called on States to create proposals to improve early learning by coordinating existing programs; evaluating and rating program quality; and increasing access to high-quality programs, particularly for children with high needs. First-year funding attracted 37 applicants and collectively awarded $500 million to 9 States: California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Washington. With more modest 2012 funding, the second round invited the next five highest-scoring applicants—Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin—to modify their 2011 applications and to create plans. These States were funded in 2012.

Yesterday, ED and HHS announced the following awards to the six States noted above: Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. Grants will be awarded over a 4-year period effective January 1, 2014, in accordance with each State’s plan.

Find information on the RTT-ELC program please review the following resources:

Early Childhood Development 

U.S. Department of Education

Race to the Top: Early Learning Challenge Flyer

For more information about the six new grants please visit the Health and Human Resources website.