Colorado receives $5.8 million to boost early childhood education
The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Office of Early Childhood (OEC) has been awarded a $5.8 million Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. The grant will support innovations that accelerate Colorado’s efforts to ensure all children are ready for school when entering kindergarten.
The PDG B-5 program, part of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, will support Colorado Shines Brighter, the state’s effort to analyze the current landscape of the early childhood education system through a comprehensive needs assessment and strategic planning process. These foundational tools will help Colorado implement changes to the system that maximize the availability of high-quality early childhood care and education options for low-income and underserved families across providers and partners, improve the quality of care, streamline administrative infrastructure, and improve state-level early childhood care and education funding efficiencies.
“Colorado’s early childhood landscape has transformed over the last several years due to local, regional, and state innovations, ”Mary Anne Snyder, director of the Office of Early Childhood said. “This is an opportunity to understand how these changes affect families of young children, and to continue to improve families’ access to high-quality early care and learning environments and programs that support their children’s physical, social, emotional development and learning.”
The initial PDG B-5 awards provide funding for one year. States receiving PDG B-5 grants will be eligible to compete for additional funding, up to $45 million over three years.
The Colorado Office of Early Childhood hopes the PDG B-5 funding will allow more Colorado families to access quality early childhood care and education settings of their choosing which best meet the needs of their child and family, especially those who are vulnerable and infants and toddlers; enhance and enrich family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) and parental care environments to support children's physical, social, emotional and cognitive development; and coordinate and align Colorado’s birth through five state system to enhance the resources available to families and to improve the quality of relationships among families, caregivers, and children.For more information about the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five and Colorado’s approach, visit ColoradoOfficeOfEarlyChildhood.com.