August 22, 2019

State Receives Preschool Assessment Grant


Maryland has been awarded $10.6 million in grant money to conduct a needs assessment for Preschool education in the state.

The grant was announced by Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md., 5th), US Sens. Ben Cardin (D) and Chris Van Hollen (D), US Congressmen Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md., 7th), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md., 2nd), John P. Sarbanes (D-Md., 3rd), Andy Harris (R-Md., 1st), Anthony Brown (D-Md., 4th), Jamie Raskin (D-Md., 8th) and David Trone (D-Md., 6th). In October 2018, Maryland’s full congressional delegation urged Secretary Alex Azar of the Department of Health and Human Services to support the Maryland State Department of Education’s application for the grant.

“I’m very pleased that the state of Maryland has again received funding through the Preschool Development Grants program,” Congressman Hoyer said in a news release. “As we have seen in past years, this federal investment will help improve upon our existing early childhood infrastructure, including Judy Centers, which provide comprehensive services and education to children and families.”

Sen. Cardin said the aim is to strengthen existing and future federal-state investments in childhood education, helping students excel when they go into kindergarten. The investment in early education has been shown to improve a child’s chance of success in school and later in life. Studies have consistently shows that children who participate in quality preschool programs are much more likely to graduate high school, grow up healthier, avoid involvement in the criminal justice system, and then find good jobs.

Maryland is one of 45 US states to be awarded a Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Initial Grant. The grants are designed to target a comprehensive statewide birth through 5 needs assessment, provide strategic planning, assess parent choice, and increase knowledge about mixed deliver systems. The assessment will help educators share best practices prior to implementation of any quality initiatives states identify in a strategic plan, which will be developed based on what they identify through their statewide birth through 5 needs assessment. Maryland is one of nine states to received the maximum award.

The Maryland Department of Education says the grant will cover the cost of:

  • Eight regional town halls to conduct a Statewide Prenatal to Age 5 Needs Assessment to improve access and quality to early childhood education programs with a focus on the most vulnerable children
  • Funding for all 24 local Early Childhood Advisory Councils in the state
  • Training and support for 200 early childhood educators on the state’s new 4-year-old integrated curriculum
  • Modernization of the state’s early childhood data system
  • Help for early childhood programs to reach higher quality tiers in Maryland EXCELS
  • Technical assistance to help with the growing population of Dual Language Learners
  • An inventory of higher education early childhood programs
  • Investments in family engagement
  • Grants for libraries that support children who don’t have access to early childhood programs

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For more information about House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, visit his Leader member page.

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