Policy & Funding

State Grant to Focus on Early Learning Support

A $4.7 million federal grant will help one state to make an investment in coordinating preschool learning efforts across state agencies.

Minnesota government agencies have already invested $326 million in school-based pre-kindergarten and early learning scholarships.  Now, the state is getting some added funds in the form of a $4.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to implement suggestions contained in a report from the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor.

The Minnesota Departments of Education, Health and Human Services will coordinate with Governor Mark Dayton's Children's Cabinet to study and plan on how to coordinate policies, programs and resources for preschool development across departments.  The grant funding will be used to conduct a comprehensive statewide needs assessment with stakeholder and community feedback, take a comprehensive look at multi-agency data systems for early learning programs and build a strategic plan to better coordinate Minnesota's early care and education system.

"This new federal grant allows us to continue engaging stakeholders across Minnesota to better align, track and fund programs," Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said in a statement. "The grant will help us streamline and simplify services for easier use, which will help families find programs, help providers administer programs, and ultimately, help kids learn and grow."

The HHS grant will last for one year.  Minnesota will then be able to apply for an implementation grant to execute the plan created after a year of planning.

The full report from the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor can be found here.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe covering education policy and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.