Birth-to-Five Preschool Development Grants 

Starting with funding for federal Fiscal Year 2014, Preschool Development Grants (PDG) were a competitive grant to states expand access to high-quality preschool services for four-year-olds.

Each year, Congress approved $250 million to continue these, and grants were awarded to 18 states.

Family child care has not been on the radar of this PDG work. The guidance from the Department of Education to grantees was explicitly about child care centers.

New: Birth-to-Five Preschool Development Grants

In December of 2015, Congress reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – the federal K-12 law, and named it the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Preschool Development Grants were named in the law but with an important change: a birth-to-five approach, and more direction on mixed delivery and the definition of child care (for partnering) that includes family child care.

The first year of a state grant is to be focused on a community needs assessment and a strategic plan for birth-to-five. The idea is that states could apply for funds in the following year to begin implementing their plan.

Happening now: action in the states

The Birth-to-Five Preschool Development Grants are an important chance to educate state agency leaders and state advocates about family child care, the learning opportunities and the supports needed for quality, and the families who are counting on us.

This is our chance to say count us in.

State applications for these all-new 0-5 planning grants were due to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in November 2018. The Department will announce awards in December 2018.

NAFCC recommendations

  • NAFCC encourages states to leverage the power of family child care to maximize parent choice and knowledge of existing programs and providers
  • NAFCC encourages states to include family child care providers as stakeholders, to consider them allies in shared goals in the work of the community needs assessment and the strategic plan
  • NAFCC encourages state family child care associations to connect with the state grantee, to be a part of the grant-funded community needs assessment and strategic plan.