December 10, 2014
New HHS grants increase, improve learning opportunities for young children
HHS’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF) today announced preliminary winners for its Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships grants to improve the quality of existing child care programs and expand access to high-quality care for infants and toddlers.
Thus far, 234 preliminarily selected grant applicants in 49 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands will receive over $435 million in funding to help offer care and services to ensure that infants and toddlers have access to Early Head Start services in their communities.
“As the mother of young kids, early learning is a big part of my personal life,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “We’re awarding over $435 million in 234 different grants to help ensure more children across the nation will benefit from high-quality early childhood efforts. As a result, we expect that more than 30,000 additional children will be able to access Early Head Start, about a 25 percent increase in the size of this program. That’s a lot of young lives changed, and a lot of impact delivered.”
“Research shows the first three years are critical for brain development, and Early Head Start provides high-quality early care and learning opportunities for our most vulnerable young children,” said ACF Acting Assistant Secretary Mark Greenberg. “These grants will help support working families by providing a full-day, full-year program for young children.”
ACF developed the grants to encourage collaboration between new or existing Early Head Start grantees and child care providers. They will serve children and families in a variety of settings, including family child care homes, child care centers and traditional Early Head Start centers in both rural and metropolitan areas across the country.
“We are pleased to partner with communities from all over the country to expand high quality early learning opportunities for children who need it most. By providing the fundamental services young children need, we will improve their chances to reach their full potential,” said ACF Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development Linda Smith.
President Obama first mentioned the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership program in his 2013 State of the Union address, when he proposed a comprehensive plan to support high-quality early education for all children from birth through school age.
For the list of preliminary grantees, please visit http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ecd/early-learning/ehs-cc-partnerships/grant-awardees.