Delaware Poised as Early Childhood “Race to the Top” Launched

May 25th, 2011

Category: Early Childhood Education

Today, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced a $500M competitive grant program focused on improving early-childhood education for low-income and disadvantaged youth, in addition to a $200M competition for states that didn’t win RTTT.

Delaware is well positioned; and Governor Markell’s recent $22 million dollar investment (and the Joint Finance Committee’s subsequent approval) to improve our current system came at a great time.

As mentioned previously, there would be three primary measurements for state applicants, all of which Delaware has addressed.

  • Improvement in workforce qualifications: The Institute for Excellence at the University of Delaware is a state investment that enhances the qualifications of the workforce, including professional development and grants for programs that are working to improve quality through training staff.
  • Coordination of services to create a seamless system: the Interagency Resource Management Committee brings together the three agencies (Education, Kids’, and Health and Social Services) that administer early childhood services, and these leaders are working together on a data system through Race to the Top and Head Start funds.
  • Public-private partnerships: Vision 2015, the Stars quality rating and improvement system, and the Early Childhood Council are already making a difference.

We are thrilled that early-childhood education is finally getting its due and believe Delaware is ready to compete again with other states.

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Madeleine Bayard



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