The Maryland Rebuilds program will bolster the child care provider community and early learning programs compromised during the pandemic.
According to a Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) press release, In the first year of the pandemic, there was a 25% decline in prekindergarten enrollment and most of the children who did receive instruction did so attended early learning programs virtually. This year’s Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) results illuminate the disruptions in early learning. The majority of kindergarteners (60%) did not demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and behavior to actively engage in the curriculum: one-third of kindergarteners are approaching readiness and may require additional instruction and 27% of kindergarteners are identified as emerging and will require targeted support.
Maryland Rebuilds is centered on six high-leverage strategies and corresponding, defined actionable focus areas. These strategies, informed by the townhalls and community stakeholder input, are:
- Expanding Access to Quality Child Care
- Early Learning Models of Excellence
- Expanding Mental Health Supports and Services
- Growing a Highly Effective Child Care Workforce
- Boosting Family Child Care
- Advancing a Coordinated Prekindergarten Enrollment System
Maryland Rebuilds invests more than $193 million in federal funds to stabilize, sustain, and expand the State’s child care and early childhood education systems, with the goal of expanding access to quality early learning programs and building a strong foundation for school readiness, growth, and success.
Eligible applicants, including non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, local education agencies, local early childhood advisory councils, and Judy Centers are invited to submit proposals aligned with the six high-leverage strategies to:
- help families find and meet the high cost of child care;
- assist child care providers to improve the quality of their programs;
- provide access for children and families to mental health supports and services;
- offer multiple supports for the early childhood workforce; and
- increase the resilience of family child care businesses.
The application window opens immediately (August 30, 2022) and will close October 10, 2022. Monitor http://www.earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org/MDRebuilds for updated information pertaining to the grant program, information sessions, and more.