SACRAMENTO January 17, 2019 – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that the California Department of Education (CDE) was awarded a federal Preschool Development Birth Through Five Initial Grant Award for $10,620,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. It was one of 45 states/territories that received the grant award.

These grants help states analyze and enhance their early learning and care systems to maximize the availability of high-quality early learning and care options for low-income and disadvantaged families. It will also help California improve the quality of early childhood care by streamlining administrative and funding systems.

“This grant helps streamline access to early education and after school programs through more effective and efficient operations,” said Thurmond. “That in turn will help us take a step towards meeting the crucial goal of expanding these programs and reducing the achievement gap.”

California has 3 million children younger than five years old, half of whom come from low-income families. Through this federal grant, California will first conduct a statewide birth-through-five needs assessment and then develop a strategic plan that will provide guidance to policymakers to increase access to services for children and families with high needs.

The grant will also:

  • Dramatically expand families’ access to the information they need to find high-quality early learning and care for their children as well as increase their child development knowledge.
  • Strengthen supports for the early childhood workforce.
  • Improve the quality of early learning and care programs, including the launch of a peer learning network to support further leadership development in Tribal Child Care.

In order to provide input and guidance to California’s early learning and care team and to support the implementation of the grant, the CDE will launch a stewardship team consisting of other state agencies serving young children and their families. The CDE will also work in partnership with the Governor’s State Advisory Council on Early Learning and Care on the needs assessment and strategic plan. Resources for families, child development contractors, and the child care community are available on the Early Learning and Care Division webpage.