Race To The Top -- Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) Program
The Department of Education expects the next Race To The Top - Early Learning Challenge competition to have an October deadline. Check back later this summer for more details.
Grant: Race To The Top – Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) Program
Agency: U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Deadline: This competition is closed. The deadline was October 26, 2012.
Description: Phase 2 of this program is only open to the states who were high-scoring non-winners in FY 2011: Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon and Wisconsin. FY 2012 funds are available to these eligible applicants at up to 50 percent of the amount each requested in its application under the FY 2011 competition. Phase 2 funding can only support activities that were included in an eligible applicant's FY 2011 application.
The purpose of the Race To The Top -- Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) program is to improve the quality of early learning and development and close the achievement gap for children with high needs. The RTT-ELC program focuses on improving early learning and development programs for young children by supporting states' efforts to:
- Increase the number and percentage of low-income and disadvantaged children who are enrolled in high-quality early learning programs.
- Design and implement an integrated system of high-quality early learning programs and services.
At its core, RTT-ELC demonstrates a strong commitment by the Administration to stimulate a national effort to make sure all children enter kindergarten ready to succeed. The RTT-ELC competition does not create new early learning and development programs, nor is it a vehicle for maintenance of the status quo. Rather, the RTT-ELC program will support states that demonstrate their commitment to integrating and aligning resources and policies across all of the state agencies that administer public funds related to early learning and development. It will further provide incentives to the states that commit to and implement high-quality early learning and development programs statewide.
RTT-ELC is organized around five key areas of reform:
- Successful state systems.
- High-quality, accountable programs.
- Promoting early learning and development outcomes for children.
- A great early childhood education workforce.
- Measuring outcomes and progress.
Fit for public broadcasting: Public media stations in Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon and Wisconsin should contact their state education agencies to find out if they will be re-submitting an application in Phase 2. Although stations are not eligible to apply directly to this program, public media partners will be very valuable to state applicants. Statutory regulations require this program to target and support low-income and disadvantaged children who are enrolled in high-quality early learning programs. Public broadcasters have a proven track record of helping the most disadvantaged students succeed by intervening before kindergarten, and their programs can greatly benefit states that are implementing far-reaching early learning reforms.
Families and communities are an important part of the success of this program, and public media stations can help states engage parents in their child's learning while also providing community-wide outreach and awareness-raising through broadcast and internet content.
Creating a great early childhood workforce is also an important aspect of the goal of this program. Public broadcasting stations with experience in professional development and teacher training will be able to provide expertise to states that need to train early childhood educators. Public media stations already provide critical resources to teachers and caregivers to enhance children's learning, and this will make them valuable assets to states that are applying to the RTT-ELC program.
Public broadcasters can be very beneficial partners to states applying for these grants. Be sure to be in contact with the agencies in your state that are responsible for early childhood education programs.
Eligibility: These grants will be made directly to State Educational Agencies (SEAs). In Phase 2, only Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon and Wisconsin are eligible to apply.
Anticipated funding: $133 million is available for Phase 2 of this program. Each eligible state is eligible to receive up to 50 percent of what was requested in its Phase 1 application.
How to apply: Application packages can be obtained online. Applications must be submitted by mail or hand delivery. To do business with the Departments, applicants must be registered with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR).
To assist states in preparing the application and to respond to questions, the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services will host a webinar for eligible applicants on September 25, 2012. Because only five states are eligible for these funds, information about the webinar will be provided directly to those states.