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Federal Grant To Help Families Navigate Early Childhood Programs

January 7, 2020

LANSING – Michigan’s families will be able to better navigate early childhood programs and services across Michigan with the help of a three-year $40.2 million federal grant, the Michigan Department of Education announced today.

“Parents will be better informed to make choices and access high-quality early childhood programs and services for their children to transition successfully into elementary school,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice.

This competitive federal grant has been awarded to Michigan to further guide systemic efforts and coordinate the variety of the state’s childhood programs and services for children from birth to age five. Michigan will receive $13.4 million in each of the next three years.

The goals are to use existing resources to improve the overall participation of children in federal, state, and local early childcare and education programs; improve program quality, while maintaining access and availability of services; and maximize family and parental choice, as well as knowledge of and engagement with existing programs in the state’s childcare system, to ease access to all services.

Out of 45 applicants, Michigan was one of 20 states the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services selected to receive Preschool Development Grant – Birth through Five (PDG B-5) renewal grants. 

In 2018, Michigan received an initial PDG B-5 grant to conduct a needs assessment and strategic planning for this coordination of programs and services across the state. This $40.2 million grant will allow Michigan to begin implementation of those strategies, which will be conducted in partnership with Michigan’s 54 Great Start Collaboratives, 60 Great Start Parent Coalitions, and other state agencies to ensure statewide coverage.

Dr. Rice recognizes the importance of a child’s early years and family engagement as foundational to meeting the needs of the whole child.

“This grant will strengthen opportunities for communities to promote engagement of families from a child’s birth that encourage optimal development of children prior to kindergarten,” Dr. Rice said.

PDG B-5 is 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 purposes:

  • Prepare low-income and disadvantaged children to enter kindergarten and to improve transitions into school.
  • Encourage partnerships between the various providers of services prior to kindergarten and improve coordination and quality.
  • Maximize parental choice in the mixed delivery system of early childhood care and education program providers.

The Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Great Start will manage implementation of the federal funds and ensure documentation of the required 30 percent state funding match.

Interested parties are welcome to review Michigan’s application on MDE's Website.