One Step Closer to a “Baby Race to the Top”

May 10th, 2011

Category: Early Childhood Education

The United States Department of Education was appropriated $700 million as part of last month’s budget deal to design a competitive grant program focused, in part, on improving early-childhood education for low-income and disadvantaged youth.

Recent speculation points to lawmakers moving forward with a “Baby Race to the Top” program, in which Delaware is well-positioned to compete.  Delaware has demonstrated its conviction that early-childhood education is critical to ensuring that our students enter school ready to learn – and pays tremendous dividends into the future. 

Three big things that Delaware has going for us are:

·         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.

Recently, Governor Markell proposed appropriating over $20 million to strengthen our current early-childhood efforts – if approved, this would further solidify our competitiveness and pave the way for further progress. 

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Madeleine Bayard



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