This program aims to enhance the school readiness of young children, particularly those who are disadvantaged, and to prevent them from encountering difficulties once they enter school. Projects that are funded will provide high-quality, sustained, and intensive professional development for these early childhood educators in how to provide developmentally appropriate school-readiness services for preschool-age children, based on the best available research on early childhood pedagogy and on child development and learning, including the age-appropriate development of oral language, phonological awareness, print awareness, alphabet knowledge, and numeracy skills. Allowable activities include, among others, professional development to familiarize early childhood educators with the application of recent research on child language and literary development and professional development on working with children who have special needs, such as those with limited English proficiency.

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