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Michigan Receives Grants to Improve Preschool Development

January 8, 2019

LANSING – A $5-million-plus competitive federal grant will help improve care, programs, and services for preschoolers statewide, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced today.

How children up to age 5 move from home-visiting, child care, and preschool programs is a chief focus of the $5,058,813 Preschool Development Grant (PDG) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Education Department.

“This grant will serve to move Michigan forward in many areas of its Top 10 in 10 plan, most assuredly within its goal of providing every child access to an aligned, high-quality system from early childhood to postsecondary attainment,” said Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles. “We recognize the importance of the early years and family engagement as foundational to the best outcomes for every child.”

Michigan is one of 45 states awarded funding through PDG, a $250-million competitive federal grant designed to improve states’ early childhood landscape by building on existing federal, state, and local early care and learning investments.

The grants focus on three major activities: maximizing parental choice; improving transitions within early care and learning programs and with elementary schools; and improving overall quality of early childhood education programs.

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) authorized the creation of a new national PDG program that fosters connections across early learning programs, and between the early learning and K-12 systems within states.

Under its grant, Michigan will develop a statewide strategic plan for children, birth to age 5, based on a needs assessment, with support from the state’s 54 Great Start Collaboratives and 60 Great Start Parent Coalitions.

The major goals in Michigan’s grant application are to:

  1. strengthen the overall system and improve the relationship between state, regional, and local entities that support young children and their families;
  2. better identify children in need of programs and services;
  3. better connect families to programs and services; and
  4. improve transitions and connections between programs.