Early Learning Challenge Collaborative
A Bold Program, A Proven Strategy
Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon and Wisconsin have been selected to receive a share of the second round Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge $133 million grant fund. The grant monies are being awarded by the program, jointly administered by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, to help each state improve quality and expand access to its early learning programs. The five states join nine others that secured first-round funding.
First launched in 2011, the competitive Race to Top – Early Learning Challenge program called on states to create proposals to improve early learning by:
- Coordinating existing programs
- Evaluating and rating program quality
- Increasing access to high-quality programs, particularly for children with high needs
First year funding attracted 37 applicants and collectively awarded $500 million to those receiving the highest scores – California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. With more modest 2012 funding, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin, the next five highest-scoring applicants, were asked to modify their 2011 applications and create plans that could be funded with up to 50 percent of the award amount originally requested. Grants are being awarded over a four-year period in accordance with each state's plan.
Learn more↑ about the Race to Top – Early Learning Challenge Fund, or read the 2012 applications.
Building a Comprehensive System of Programs and Services
The Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge is providing a significant boost for states, especially in tough economic times. With the federal support, the 14 recipients are building bold, comprehensive early learning programs and services around a tiered quality rating and improvement system. The RTT-ELC is also enabling the 14 states to continue the work of the public/private partnerships that have been critical to the development of the early learning systems building movement. This movement, more than a decade old, laid the groundwork and created the frame from which the federal program developed.
As a parallel to Race to the Top for kindergarten through 12th grade, the Early Learning Challenge demonstrates federal recognition that children are born learning. The program helps states set the stage for life-long learning, and is an investment in our nation's economic future.
Support from the Collaborative
The Early Learning Challenge Collaborative is poised to help states make the most of this opportunity through tailored technical assistance, topical consortia, webinars and other learning community activities.
Learn more from EducationCounsel’s detailed overview of the Phase 2 application.
Read the new RTT-ELC Phase 2 FAQ (2012-09-29) issued by the U.S. Department of Education.