Third round of competition focuses on early childhood education.
- Come up with and use early-learning and development standards for children, along with assessments;
- Develop and administer kindergarten-readiness tests, and develop rating systems for early-education programs;
- Demonstrate cooperation across the multiple agencies that touch early-childhood issues (MDE, and MSDH, for example), and establish statewide standards for early childhood educators;
- Have a good tract record on early learning, and an ambitious plan to improve these programs; and
- Make sure early learning and pre-kindergarten data are incorporated into its longitudinal data system.
Over the past year, Mississippi First has been involved in research around a “collaborative delivery model” for pre-Kindergarten. This model expands access to pre-K through the coordination of local, state and federal resources, along with partnerships with school districts and other early education providers such as Head Start and private childcare. Such a model could be a strong component to Mississippi’s ELC plan.
Applications for the Early Learning Challenge will be available at the end of the summer, and awards will be made at the end of the year. We will keep you informed about new developments in the coming weeks.
Important sections of the draft criteria:
Below is a list of items that must be addressed within the details of the state plan:
Absolute Priorities – Items that MUST be addressed to be eligible for an award.
1. Using Early Learning and Development Standards and Kindergarten Entry Assessments to Promote School Readiness
2. Using Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement Systems
Competitive Preference Priority – Items that can earn a state additional points if addressed
3. Including all early Learning and Development Programs in the Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System
Invitational Priorities – Include no additional points, but could strengthen the overall application.
4. Sustaining Program Effects in the Early Elementary
5. Encouraging Private Sector Support
Below are the criteria that will be used to evaluate each state’s ELC application.
A. Successful State Systems
B. Promoting Early Learning and Development Outcomes for Children
C. High-Quality, Accountable Programs
D. A Great Childhood Education Workforce
Potential Award for Mississippi
The maximum amount of money a state can be awarded through the ELC is based on each state’s percentage of the nation’s young children (birth to age five) from low-income families. Based on this formula, Mississippi would receive up to $50 million for a successful application.
More updates will come soon!