Colorado Applies for Race to the Top
Colorado recently submitted its application to the Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge Fund for nearly $30 million over the next four years. Colorado was one of five states eligible to apply for the non-competitive round two of the grant, as it is among the five states with the highest scores after the first nine were selected in 2012. The purpose of the grant is to increase the number and percentage of high-needs children who are ready for school when they enter kindergarten by ensuring they are in high-quality early learning programs staffed by competent early childhood professionals.
Colorado’s application focuses on completing the Office of Early Childhood begun in 2012, creating and implementing a Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System for all licensed child care and early learning programs, creating a statewide system for training early childhood professionals, establishing a universal school readiness assessment as well expanding assessment of children in early education settings prior to entering kindergarten.
An advisory team led by the Office of Lt. Governor Joe Garcia made up of early childhood stakeholders, including Children’s Campaign President and CEO Chris Watney, guided the writing of the application by a steering committee. That group included Children’s Campaign Vice President of Early Childhood Initiatives Jennifer Landrum. To read Colorado’s full application, click here. A decision on the second-round winners is expected by the end of the year.