Last month, Secretary Barbara Cooper was invited to speak virtually at a bipartisan Congressional briefing coordinated by the First Five Years Fund regarding Alabama’s experience implementing the Birth To 5 Preschool Development Grant (PDG B-5).

PDG B-5, also known as the First Class Foundations Program, seeks to inspire, support, and deliver a cohesive, comprehensive, mixed delivery system of high-quality education and care so that all Alabama children thrive and learn.The PDG B-5 grant builds upon the successes of the nationally-recognized First Class Pre-K, First Teacher Home Visiting, and Pre-K – 3rd Grade Integrated Approach to Early Learning (P-3) programs as well as promote Alabama’s Born Ready movement, to inspire and empower every parent and to ensure every child reaches their greatest potential.

The First Class Foundation Sites that are selected for the PDG B-5 grant receive support from the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education through the following:

  • Increased professional development for infant and toddler teachers and directors;
  • Coaching and information sharing to improve family engagement;
  • Mental health resources for children and families with trauma-informed interventions;
  • Support to strengthen program services to support application for Alabama’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS);
  • Guidance for intervention services for children experiencing developmental delays and behavioral challenges; and
  • Classroom, playground, and staff quality enhancement funds.

You can watch the entire briefing here:


You can watch Dr. Cooper’s remarks here: