The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has announced two early learning grant initiatives that will expand the availability of high-quality full-day prekindergarten education to more Maryland children.
The $26 million Prekindergarten Expansion Grants program is now available to both private child care providers and Local Education Agencies, providing $13,000 in funding to each eligible child. The goal of the grant program is to broaden availability and expand access to high-quality, full-day prekindergarten for three-year-old and four-year-old students from families with incomes at or below 300% Federal Poverty Level (FPL), defined as $79,500 for a family of four in 2022, as well as students with disabilities, homeless students, and children from homes in which English is not the primary spoken language.
“The early years of life are the most critical period for brain development and establish a child’s trajectory for lifelong learning and achievement. The Maryland State Department of Education is eager to support and expand equitable access to high-quality prekindergarten education opportunities for Maryland’s youngest children,” said State Superintendent of Schools Mohammed Choudhury. “This year marks an important first step as we embark upon implementing and leading Blueprint initiatives that emphasize expanded early education opportunities and ensure that a family’s wealth is not an impediment to accessing high-quality prekindergarten.”
According to an MSDE press release:
The Grant Information Guide, Frequently Asked Questions, and other information about the two grants programs, including customer service support sessions, can be found on the MSDE website: https://earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org/maryland-prek-grant-programs. Program funding is contingent on final budget legislation for Fiscal Year 2023. Grant applications are now being accepted and are due by April 8, 2022.