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ALABAMA’S PRESCHOOL DEVELOPMENT GRANT, BIRTH THROUGH FIVE
On behalf of the State of Alabama and with designated authority from the Office of the Governor, the Department of Early Childhood Education applied for the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) through the United States Departments of Health and Human Services and Education on November 2, 2018. The Department received notice of the federal grant award of $10.6 million on December 31, 2018.
On November 1, 2019 the Department applied for a renewal of the state’s PDG B-5. On December 18, 2019 the Department was notified of a $33 million grant award by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education for a renewal of Alabama’s PDG B-5 initiative over the next three years.
With the support of a PDG B-5 renewal grant, Alabama will continue longstanding efforts to expand access to high quality early childhood care and education for all children. The renewal grant will build 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.
Alabama’s PDG B-5 work aligns with Governor Ivey’s Strong Start, Strong Finish initiative, a comprehensive education-to-workforce agenda with a focus on the birth-five continuum, recognizing a child’s first five years as foundational for lifelong success. The PDG B-5 renewal grant will ensure Alabama meets the goals laid out in the Strong Start, Strong Finish initiative while continuing to improve system coordination. Born Ready is an integral part of Governor Ivey’s “Strong Start, Strong Finish” education initiative, focused on raising awareness among Alabama parents of the importance of early brain development and quality early childhood learning experiences. Through Strong Start, Strong Finish, Alabama is building an education system from pre-k to workforce that helps students succeed in school and after they graduate.
During 2019, the Department of Early Childhood Education, along with 100 other state agencies and non-governmental organizations, completed a comprehensive assessment of early care and education needs in the state of Alabama and constructed a strategic plan to meet these needs. The PDG B-5 renewal grant will ensure Alabama continues to deliver high quality early childhood care and education while expanding access to programs that support all children, especially low-income, rural, disadvantaged children.
The stated purposes of the PDG B-5 Initiative are:
1. Develop, update, or implement a strategic plan that facilitates collaboration and coordination among existing programs of early childhood care and education in a mixed delivery system across the State;
2. More efficiently use existing Federal, State, local, and non-governmental resources to align and strengthen the delivery of existing programs;
3. Encourage partnerships among the wide range of early childhood education programs and service partners that make up the B-5 Early Childhood State System;
4. Expand parental choice and knowledge about existing programs; and
5. Enhance school readiness for children from low-income and disadvantaged families, including during children's transition into elementary school by sharing best practices between and among early childhood education providers.
On Friday, January 4, 2019 the Administration for Children and Families Office of Child Care (OCC) announced winners of Preschool Development Birth through Five Grant awards. There were 45 states and territories awarded a grant with the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education receiving $10,620,000 a year for a total of $31,860.00 over a three year period.
First Class Foundations Initiative:
Building on the high quality expectations of the Alabama First Class Pre-K classrooms, the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education is seeking licensed childcare programs with a First Class Pre-K classroom to build First Class Foundation Sites. These sites would be supported to bring the high quality expectations of First Class Pre-K to the infant and toddler classrooms. This support would include funding for enhancements, coaching, professional development opportunities for the staff and support for attaining high level STARS with the QRIS system. The goal of this project is to support programs that are implementing high quality standards for birth to 5 in order to create sites which can be a model of quality, increase access to quality care, and to increase recognition of the Alabama STARS system. Sites have been selected through a competitive application process. All participating First Class Foundations sites have an infant and toddler program as well as an Alabama First Class Pre-K classroom, and hold a current child care license with the Department of Human Resources.
If you have questions regarding the PDG B-5 or the First Class Foundations initiative, please contact Dr. Bonnie Sullivan, B-5 Cohesive Systems Director, by phone (334) 832-6470 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.