Funds Available For State Early Childhood Advisory Councils
Jun 16, 2009
The Administration for Children and Families has announced the availability of $100 million in funds to support coordination and collaboration across early care and education programs and services for children from birth to the age of school entry. The 2007 reauthorization of Head Start required Governors to establish or designate a State Advisory Council for this purpose. The recent Economic Recovery Act provided funding to support the work of State Advisory Councils. According to the announcement,
"The State Advisory Council will work to strengthen state-level coordination and collaboration among the various sectors and settings of early childhood programs in the State. The Council will conduct periodic statewide needs assessments on the quality and availability of programs and services for children form birth to school entry, identify opportunities for and barriers to coordination and collaboration among existing Federal and state-funded early childhood programs, and develop recommendations for: (1) increasing overall participation of children in existing Federal, State, and local child care and early education programs, including outreach to underrepresented and special populations; (2) the establishment or improvement of core elements of the State early childhood system, such as a statewide unified data collection system; (3) a statewide professional development system and career ladder for early childhood educators; and (4) high-quality State early learning standards. The Council will also assess the capacity and effectiveness of institutes of higher education in the State toward supporting the development of early childhood educators.
"States shall also use the funds to carry out activities to facilitate the development or enhancement of high-quality systems of early childhood education and care designed to improve school readiness through one or more of the following activities: promoting school readiness of children birth to five; supporting professional development, recruitment and retention initiatives for early childhood educators; enhancing existing early childhood and development programs and services in existence on the date of the grant award; and carrying out other activities consistent with the State's plan."
Funds are available for one-time start-up grants, over a three-year period, to develop and implement State Advisory Council plans. Applications may be submitted through August 30, 2010. For information on required application content and format, read the complete announcement.