Additional Public Comment Sought for Preschool Development Grants Competition


Thank you to those who submitted comments on our February 6, 2014 Homeroom Blog regarding the $250 million for the new Preschool Development Grants competition, appropriated in the FY14 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (Public Law 113-76).

The Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) received 480 responses from the public. This input will be considered as we develop competition requirements, priorities, and selection criteria consistent with the language in the FY 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (Public Law 113-76).

The two departments are now seeking additional input through a dedicated website, as well as a public meeting to be held on Thursday, March 20, 2014 from 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Additional information can be found below.

Public Meeting

When: Thursday, March 20, 2014 from 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Where: U.S. Department of Education
Potomac Center
10th Floor Auditorium
550 12th Street SW
Washington, D.C.

You may also view the live streamed session at Thursday, March 20, 2014 from 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning Libby Doggett (ED) and Deputy Assistant Secretary for and Inter-Departmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development Linda K. Smith (HHS) will attend to listen to your ideas on the new competition. Please consider the questions listed below for the Homeroom Blog in preparing your remarks.

If you are interested in speaking during the meeting, you must register by sending an e-mail to: on Thursday, March 13, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.
E-mails received outside of this time period will only be accepted as space allows. Requests for speaking will be honored on a first come, first serve basis. A confirmation will be sent two days prior to the meeting. For attendees not speaking, reservations are not required. Persons who are unable to attend the meeting in person or who do not register early enough to speak during the meeting are encouraged to submit written input on this blog.

For security purposes, all speakers and attendees are reminded to bring a photo ID and a business card. All attendees are requested to enter the Department on the C Street side of the building, go through the magnetometers, and show their photo ID to security. Instead of signing-in at the Front Desk, attendees will be directed to the auditorium’s rear doors, where they will be asked to submit a business card OR record their name, organization, and contact information on a sign-in sheet. Please allow ample time to go through security.

Your email must include the term “Preschool Development Grants Public Meeting” in the subject line of your e‐mail and indicate the following in the body of your cover email:

  1. Name(s) and title(s) of attendees from your organization (only one speaker per organization)
  2. Cell phone and e-mail for each attendee

The format for the Public Meeting will be as follows:

  • Speakers will be given 3 minutes to address the group. Time will be strictly enforced.
  • Speakers are encouraged to limit their comments to the Preschool Development Grants competition and may choose to address one or more of the questions listed below in the Homeroom Blog section.
  • In addition, all individuals and organizations are strongly encouraged to submit input in writing (electronic form preferred) by Friday, March 21, 2014, at 5:00 pm ETD.
  • Depending on the number of persons who wish to speak, we may not be able to accommodate everyone.

This is an important opportunity to provide input to the Departments. We hope you can join us.

Homeroom Blog

The dedicated website will be posted for public input until 5:00 PM ET on March 21, 2014. Please submit opinions, ideas, suggestions and comments pertaining to the new competition below. We are particularly interested in your input on these questions:

  • How should the competition address the direction in the Conference Report to the FY14 Consolidated Appropriations Act for awards to be made to two types of grantees: low-capacity States with small or no State-funded preschool programs and high-capacity States that have a larger State-funded preschool program?
  • How should subgrantees that are early learning providers demonstrate strong partnerships with local education agencies and how should local education agencies demonstrate strong partnerships with early learning providers?
  • How should States distribute funds within the State in order to scale-up of proven preschool models in local communities?
  • What factors should we consider, if any, in distinguishing State applicants based on their past commitment to early learning and/or participation in federal or state grant programs, e.g., success or lack of success in previous related grant competitions, current federal support for early learning, or past State investment in early learning)?
  • How can we use these grants to support a more streamlined system of high-quality programs and services for children across the birth through age five continuum?
  • What can we do to encourage the sustainability of services after the grant ends (e.g. encouraging or requiring nonfederal matching funds, maintenance of effort provisions, or supplement not supplant policies)?
  • What kind of absolute, competitive or invitational priorities should we consider in designing the competition?

The dedicated website will be open until 5:00 PM ET on March 21, 2014, at which time the input section will be closed and we will begin considering comments received as we develop requirements, priorities, selection criteria, and definitions. Once the initial input from the field is collected and reviewed, we will draft an executive summary and post for comments that will, in turn, inform the final NIA. Thank you for your interest in this historic opportunity to support high-quality preschool. We look forward to hearing from you.

Source: Office of Early Learning, U.S. Department of Early Learning

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