Funding from the U.S. Department of Education Preschool Expansion Grant helps to support partnerships between public school districts and community-based programs in 5 cities: Boston, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, and Springfield. Each year up to 850 children, who otherwise wouldn't have had an early education experience, can now attend preschool in these communities.
Massachusetts received the maximum eligible amount of $15 million per year in an initial award and may be eligible for up to $30 million in funding for 2 more years.
The Preschool Expansion Grant supports high quality programs through requirements such as:
- Full-day and full-year programming.
- Joint professional development between the school district and community early education programs.
- Use of highly qualified educators who are paid at a similar rate to public school educators.
- Extensive family engagement and support services.
- Low child-to-teacher ratios (10:1 or less).
- Workforce development support for educators.
EEC tracks the implementation, impact, and costs of the services provided by the grant funding in these communities.