WASHINGTON, DC (WJZ) — Maryland leaders announced Wednesday that Maryland has been awarded $10.6 million through the Preschool Development Grants Birth Through Five program to conduct a statewide birth through age five needs assessment for Maryland’s children.
This comes after Maryland’s full congressional delegation urged Secretary Alex Azar, according to state leaders, of the Department of Health and Human Services to support the Maryland State Department of Education’s grant application.
Maryland is one of 45 states to receive a Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Initial Grant, which were designed to target a comprehensive statewide birth through five needs assessment, strategic planning, parent choice and knowledge about mixed deliver systems, and sharing best practices before implementing any quality initiatives states see in a strategic plan developed based on what they identify through their statewide assessment.
Maryland is one of the nine states to receive the maximum award, according to a press release from Sen. Cardin’s office.
According to the Maryland State Department of Education, the grant will cover the cost of:
- 8 Regional Town Halls across Maryland to conduct a Statewide Prenatal to Age 5 Needs Assessment to improve access and quality to early childhood education programs with a focus on our most vulnerable children
- Funding for all 24 local Early Childhood Advisory Councils
- Training and coaching for 200 early childhood educators on Maryland’s new 4-year-old integrated curriculum
- Modernization of Maryland’s early childhood data system
- Supports for early childhood programs to reach higher quality tiers in Maryland EXCELS
- Technical assistance to support the growing population of Dual Language Learners
- An inventory of Higher Education early childhood programs
- Investments in family engagement activities
- Grants for libraries to support children without access to early childhood programs.