Improving Young Children's Success: California's Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge, 2011-2015
The federal Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant from the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is a major initiative supporting states in building high-quality early learning systems of care. In 2012, California was awarded one of the highly competitive grants in the first round of three rounds of awards to states. The objective of this four-year grant is to improve the quality of early learning programs and close the achievement gap for vulnerable young children, including those who are low-income, English learners, and children with disabilities or developmental delays. California’s original $53 million grant, which was then supplemented by an additional $24 million, was administered by the California Department of Education (CDE). California proposed to implement a unique approach that builds upon California’s local and statewide successes to create sustainable capacity at the local level through 17 Regional Leadership Consortia in 16 counties, which later included additional counties mentored by the original 17 consortia, all united by a common end goal: Ensure that children in California have access to high quality programs so that they thrive in their early learning settings and succeed in kindergarten and beyond. The federal RTT grant ended December 2015.
In the 2014-2015 state fiscal year, state funds were bid out to counties to continue and/or establish their quality rating and information systems (QRIS) for sites serving preschool children. For more information about the state’s support of local QRIS systems: http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/op/csppqrisblockgrant.asp
To learn more about the Race to the Top-Early Leaning Challenge, please download the fact sheet HERE
CDE’s RTT-ELC Web page has further information regarding next steps in California’s RTT-ELC process: http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/rt/