Every day, more Americans recognize the value of high-quality early childhood education and its contribution to the ability of American children to succeed in the classroom, thrive in the work- force, and compete globally. Research studies provide evidence that children who attend high-quality early childhood programs that promote optimal brain development are better prepared for school and success than children who do not attend such programs.
The Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, Public Law (P.L.) 110-134, authorized the State Advisory Councils on Early Childhood Education and Care (SACs) grant. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), P.L. 111-5, funded the grant. The SAC grant pro- vided funds to states and territories1 to develop high-quality early childhood education systems.
Many states had already begun to develop early childhood education systems prior to receiving the grant. They used state, local, private, and federal funds to spur state innovations. Federal grant sources included the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS), and Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health).
The SAC grant propelled further improvements in the quality of early childhood programs, better coordination among existing early childhood programs, and streamlined service delivery. The grant also provided a strategic focus on early childhood, leveraged previous early childhood systems-building investments, and informed the President’s 2013 early learning plan.
Source: Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services