YIR_QRISCalifornia is among 35 states and Puerto Rico vying for a share of $250 million the U.S. Department of Education has made available for states to improve their preschool programs. First 5 Contra Costa is included in this application, having signed on as part of the Bay Area Regional Consortia, which also includes Alameda, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco.

The grant is designed to expand preschool programs for at-risk children, including low-income children and those with special needs. Ultimately, the goal of the funding is to help states prepare to participate in President Obama’s Preschool for All Initiative, which would offer high-quality early care and education for all children.

If approved, the grant could provide California with $140 million ($35 million per year over a four-year period) to support the development of high-quality state preschool programs. The funding would also provide 3,700 new and improved preschool spaces for low-income children and children with special needs. Funding would be divided among 12 sub-grantees, including the Bay Area Regional Consortia, which was selected to participate out of 200 applicants.

Grant recipients will be announced during a White House Summit on Early Education on December 10. Keep your fingers crossed!

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