BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP)– The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care has been awarded a three-year, $36 million federal Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five (PDG B-5)

The money will be administered by the Department of Early Education and Care to be used by multiple state agencies to promote the educational, health and economic outcomes of young children and their families.

It will also help develop and promote career pathways and professional development opportunities for early educators and teachers that work with young learners and programs.

This award allows building on work that began in 2019 when the state received a $1.8 million PDG B-5 Planning Grant to conduct a comprehensive assessment of strengths and gaps in the system as well as identify promising strategies and interventions.

Key initiatives include:

  • Launching a new credentialling and certification process for early educators.
  • Continuing efforts to streamline child care financial assistance for working families and improve coordination with other state and federal benefit programs.
  • Creating additional opportunities for family voices in policy and program development, including through a new Family Advisory Council.
  • Increasing supports for early education and care programs to deliver to high-quality programming and implement evidence-based curriculums appropriate for young children.
  • Building additional infrastructure at the local level to ensure families with young children can be easily connected to the programs and services they need in the communities where they live and work.
  • Partnering with schools and other local organizations to provide increased access to behavioral and mental health and special education services to support the success of all young learners and their families.

In addition to the federal funding, the state will provide $3 million each year in matching funds.