On Tuesday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s office announced that the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (ADECE) was awarded $10,620,000 by the United States Department of Human Services (USDHS).
The grant was awarded through the department’s Office of Child Care (OCC) as part of the Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five (PDG B-5) Program.
“We welcome these much-needed funds to help us focus on building a strong foundation for Alabama’s children. As we continue to grow our First Class Pre-K program, we must also expand its learning methods through third grade,” Ivey said in a press release. “When students are successful in their first few years of school they are much more likely to be successful in life.”
The funds will go toward the Alabama Connections for Early Care and Education project and be used to continue efforts to develop and implement a unified system “to meet the needs of children and parents.”
The PDG B-5 grants are designed to assist states in conducting a comprehensive needs assessment for children aged birth through five and conduct in-depth planning.
Further, the grants will expand current programs and provide more educational choices for parents, such as child care centers and home-based child care operations, as well as Head Start programs, state pre-kindergarten programs and more.
Grants, ranging from $538,000 and $10.6 million depending on the proposal, were awarded to 45 states and territories.
Alabama will be able to apply for renewal of the grant before the end of the year.
“I applaud Secretary Jeana Ross and her team at the Department of Early Childhood Education for seeking out this opportunity and presenting an incredible plan,” Ivey said in the release.