Two Federal Register notices have been issued on the Early Learning Challenge program. The first notice was issued jointly by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2013, which has a deadline for transmittal of applications of October 16, 2013. The second notice, issued by ED, announced final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) program, effective September 30, 2013.
ED and HHS conducted the first RTT-ELC competition under the Race to the Top program in FY2011 and awarded grants to nine states: California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Washington. In FY2012, the next five highest-rated states from the FY2011 competition received funding: Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin.
The purpose of the RTT-ELC program is to improve the quality of early learning and development and close the educational gaps for children with high needs. This program focuses on improving early learning and development for young children by supporting states' efforts to increase the number of low-income and disadvantaged children in each age group of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who are enrolled in high-quality Early Learning and Development Programs. The program also supports states' efforts to design and implement an integrated system of high-quality Early Learning and Development programs and services.
For more information, please see the notices in the August 30, 2013, Federal Register [PDF] or contact Catherine D. Clarke, ASHA's director of education and regulatory advocacy, at [email protected] or 800-498-2071, ext. 5611.