Fate of Early Learning Challenge Fund remains in doubt

Quality Pathways Grants, or awards to high-capacity states pursuing models of reform and excellence in early childhood education. Innovative plans would reflect significant progress toward establishing the elements of a comprehensive, high-quality early childhood program to improve learning outcomes for children, and a desire to take such improvements to scale.

Development Grants, or awards to a population of developing states that show promise for strengthening and expanding their early childhood programs, but who need additional assistance to launch a standards-based, outcomes-driven system.

Some states have made significant progress in shaping and developing early childhood programs, and many have begun to address the conditions necessary for promoting early learning and development. Leading states that have embarked on reform report a need for more coordinated and integrated early childhood education services, and a commitment to accountability and results to ensure that a system with multiple funding streams and settings improves outcomes for all children, according to ED officials.

“Many states are working on high-quality systems that create high standards for education and professional development,” Robinson said. “This fund would ratchet up that effort, which we think is really important, … and [would] move toward meeting the important goal of making sure low-income students are in a high-quality learning environment.”

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