Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge

The Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) initiative was announced on May 25, 2011, by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The $500 million state-level grant competition rewards states for creating comprehensive plans that transform early learning systems for children, birth to age five, with improved coordination and assessment mechanisms, clear learning standards, meaningful workforce development, family engagement initiatives, and increased participation in high quality early learning programs.

California was one of nine states awarded with a $52.6 million grant based on First 5 California's comprehensive early childhood education programs. Recently, our successful grant application has been extended to a total of $75 million.

The grant supports a locally driven approach that builds upon California's local and statewide successes to create sustainable capacity at the local level and meet the needs of our early learners with the highest needs. It supports a locally driven quality improvement process that encourages regional assessment, goal setting, and monitoring of progress that leads to tangible change.

First 5 California staff provides leadership, evaluation, and administrative support for the RTT-ELC grant.

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For more information, please visit the California Department of Education's Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Web site at http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/rt/.