For Immediate Release - October 05, 2015

Massachusetts Awarded Second Year of Funding from Federal Preschool Expansion Grant

BOSTON – Massachusetts has been awarded a second year of funding through the federal Preschool Expansion Grant program that will provide an additional $15 million to further expand access to high-quality preschool programs in five communities across the state: Boston, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell and Springfield.

Massachusetts applied for up to $60 million over four years under the federal Preschool Expansion Grant program.  In 2014, the U.S. Department of Education awarded Massachusetts an initial grant of $15 million for the first year of the program.

Last month, Governor Charlie Baker announced that 45 new preschool classrooms serving 858 children had opened this school year through Massachusetts' initial $15 million Preschool Expansion Grant award.  This second year award will allow another cohort of four-year-olds in the participating five communities to attend a year of high-quality preschool starting in fall 2016.

“Over the next four years, we believe these Pre-School Expansion Programs will be model programs across the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Education Jim Peyser. “With this second round of funding, we can not only help more children have access to high-quality early education but we can also help ensure that the system we build will help all children achieve proficiency by third grade.”

The Preschool Expansion Grant supports communities in developing partnerships between their public school district and community-based early education and care programs that will serve as models for expanding preschool to all 4-year-olds from low-income families in that state.  The funding also supports quality improvements in outreach and coordination of comprehensive services, assuring that young children's development is supported and advanced in their home environments as well as in preschool settings.

“This grant recognizes Massachusetts' hard work in successfully launching the first year of the Preschool Expansion Grant program and the potential for more great accomplishments by our local partners," said Early Education and Care Commissioner Tom Weber.  "There is high interest and momentum in Massachusetts right now for the Preschool Expansion Grant program and these funds will allow us to continue building a collaborative, high-quality preschool model for the benefit of young children and their families.”

Massachusetts' four year Preschool Expansion Grant application is posted at: http://www.mass.gov/edu/researchers/early-education-and-care/

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