Massachusetts Awarded $15 Million in Third Year of Funding from Federal Preschool Expansion Grant
BOSTON – For the third year in a row Massachusetts has received a $15 million award from the federal Preschool Expansion Grant program, funding which will provide a year of free preschool in the 2017-2018 school year to 850 children in five communities across the state: Boston, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell and Springfield. This award brings the total funding that Massachusetts has received from the Preschool Expansion Grant program to $45 million over three years.
The Preschool Expansion Grant program provides a year of free, high-quality preschool to four-year-old children from low-income families who otherwise would not have access to preschool before entering Kindergarten. Through the grant funding, 48 new preschool classrooms were opened in fall 2015 that enroll approximately 850 children in each year of the grant. The first cohort of students attended preschool in the 2015-2016 school year and the second cohort is attending preschool in the current 2016-2017 school year. This third funding award will allow another class of 850 students in Boston, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell and Springfield to attend a year of free, high-quality preschool in the 2017-2018 school year. Massachusetts is eligible to receive an additional $15 million in the fourth year of the grant program, subject to budget appropriation.
“Over the past year, these Pre-School Expansion Programs have begun to show that they are model programs which can help us continue to build high-quality early education programs across the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Education Jim Peyser. “With this third round of funding, we will not only help more children have access to high-quality early education programs but it will advance our goal of helping all children achieve math and reading 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 essential funding will allow Massachusetts to continue an innovative preschool model that is showing high levels of quality overall. At the end of the first year the children, most having no prior early education experience, demonstrated math and literacy skills that fall in the expected range for children entering kindergarten. Equally important, both our teachers and parents reported strong satisfaction with the program," said Early Education and Care Commissioner Tom Weber. "These promising results are a testament to the work of our community partners and I am thankful that Massachusetts will be able to continue this great program for a third year.”
Through this third $15 million grant award, the five communities participating in the federal Preschool Expansion Grant program will receive funding for the 2017-2018 school year in the amounts listed below:
The 48 Preschool Expansion Grant program site locations are listed below.
Boston (15 Classrooms)
East Boston YMCA
Walnut Grove Head Start (ABCD)
Nurtury Learning Lab (Bromley-Heath)
Wesley Education Center
Ellis Memorial Early Education Center
Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester
Paige Academy, Inc.
Catholic Charities (Nazareth Child Care Center)19 St. Joseph St.
Catholic Charities (Yawkey Konbit-Kreyol Center)
Holyoke (4 Classrooms)
Kelly Full Service School (Holyoke Chicopee Springfield Head Start)
Lawrence Full Service Community School (Holyoke Chicopee Springfield Head Start)
Sullivan School (Valley Opportunity Council)
Morgan Full Service Community School (Valley Opportunity Council)
Lawrence (10 Classrooms)
Lawrence Early Achievement Partnership at Head Start (GLCAC Inc., Head Start)
Lawrence Early Achievement Partnership at The Community Group (The Community Group)
Lowell (8 Classrooms)
Lowell Collaborative Preschool Academy (Community Teamwork/CTI and Little Sprouts)554 Pawtucket Street
Springfield (11 Classrooms)
Square One, Holyoke Chicopee Springfield Head Start, YMCA of Greater Springfield
Family Square @ Square One
Learning Center @ YMCA of Greater Springfield
Holyoke Chicopee Springfield Head Start @ Mason Square
Massachusetts' four year Preschool Expansion Grant application is posted at: http://www.mass.gov/edu/researchers/early-education-and-care/.