The U.S. Department of Education announced a new "Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge," will be jointly administered by the Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS).
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced that the Administration plans to use approximately $500 million of the FY11 Race to the Top funding.
The competition will call for States to take a comprehensive approach to developing integrated, high-quality early learning systems, which in turn will help ensure that more children, especially high-need children, enter school ready and able to succeed.
In order to run a rigorous competition and obligate funds to grantees before December 31, 2011, the ED plans to waive rulemaking on this new program, pursuant to its authority in the General Education Provisions Act. However, ED and HHS are very interested in your input. We encourage all interested parties to submit opinions, ideas, suggestions and comments pertaining to the RTT-ELC competition below.
Specific competition requirements, priorities, and selection criteria are still under development. However, consistent with the statute, applicant States will need to take actions to:
- Increase the number and percentage of low-income and disadvantaged children in each age group of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who're enrolled in high-quality early learning programs
- Design and implement an integrated system of high-quality early learning programs and services
- Ensure that any use of assessments conforms with the recommendations of the National Research Council's reports on early childhood.
For more detailed information read the announcement post here, or watch the video belwo: