$4M federal grant to help prepare more Michigan children for kindergarten
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A new $4 million federal grant will prepare more children, especially low-income and vulnerable children for kindergarten in Michigan. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families awarded the $4 million Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Planning (PDG B-5) grant to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) through Dec. 30, 2023.
“This grant will help the kids most in need of help entering kindergarten by investing in the early childhood workforce; identifying opportunities to expand access to high-quality early care and education programs; and supporting a comprehensive delivery system,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice.
Across 42 states the PDG B–5 awards will invest nearly $300 million to strengthen their early care and education systems and early childhood workforce. The focus of the federal grant is to improve the equitable participation of children, particularly vulnerable, underserved, or unserved children, including children who are dual language learners, and children with, or at risk for, disabilities.
The funds will be used by state grantees to conduct or update a statewide early childhood needs assessment; develop, update, and begin to implement a strategic plan; pursue objectives to help break down barriers and improve access to higher quality early childhood services; and expand or build upon prior grant work, especially in the following priority areas:
- Supporting the early childhood workforce
- Promoting an integrated birth-to-5 early childhood system
- Promoting early childhood program sustainability
- Expanding meaningful community and family engagement and leadership
- Ensuring inclusion of children with, or at risk of, disabilities
- Addressing suspensions, expulsions, and other exclusions
- Incorporating trauma-informed approaches
- Developing and implementing coordinated application, eligibility, and enrollment systems
- Aligning with Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) activities
- Supporting effective and appropriate transitions
- Building infant/toddler care capacity
- Providing services to underserved children
MDE proposed workforce and family engagement needs assessments as part of its grant application that would be incorporated into Michigan’s Collective Early Childhood Action Plan.
Michigan currently is ranked 5th nationally for its level of early childhood system integration according to a recent Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) report.
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