Every Student Succeeds Act/Preschool Development Grants

Section 9212 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), PL 114-95 establishes the Preschool Development Grants (PDG).

This grant seeks to assist States in helping low-income and disadvantaged children enter Kindergarten prepared and ready to succeed in school and to help improve the transitions
from the early care and education setting to elementary school.

The overall responsibility of the ESSA PDG is to assist States in the coordination of their existing early childhood service delivery models and funding streams - for the purpose of serving more children birth through age five in a mixed delivery model.

The ESSA PDG has three targeted purposes.

It aims to:

'(1) assist States to develop, update, or implement a strategic plan that facilitates collaboration and coordination among existing programs of early childhood care and education in a mixed delivery system across the State designed to prepare low-income and disadvantaged children to enter kindergarten and to improve transitions from such system into the local educational agency or elementary school that enrolls such children, by?
(A) more efficiently using existing Federal, State, local, and non-governmental resources to align and strengthen the delivery of existing programs,
(B) coordinating the delivery models and funding streams existing in the State's mixed delivery system; and
(C) developing recommendations to better use existing resources in order to improve--
(i) the overall participation of children in a mixed delivery system of Federal, State, and local early childhood education programs;
(ii) program quality while maintaining availability of services;
(iii) parental choice among existing programs; and
(iv) school readiness for children from low- income and disadvantaged families, including during such children's transition into elementary school;

(2) encourage partnerships among Head Start providers, State and local governments, Indian tribes and tribal organizations, private entities (including faith- and community- based entities), and local educational agencies, to improve coordination, program quality, and delivery of services; and

(3) maximize parental choice among a mixed delivery system of early childhood education program providers.' [Public Law 114-95, Sec 9212 (a)(1-3)]

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in consultation with the Department of Education (ED) will be soliciting applications from eligible States to carry out the activities of the ESSA PDG.

The new ESSA PDG program seeks to empower State governments to lead the way in leveraging Federal, State and local early care and education investments.

States are not to create another early childhood program, but rather help coordinate early childhood programs and services that already exist in the State according to the identified needs of the State.

The ESSA PDG is a competitive grant authorized for up to four years - a 1 year initial grant and a renewal grant of up to 3 years.

Annual funding for the program is contingent upon annual Congressional appropriation.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Department Of Public Health & Social Services $ 5,530,532   2020-12-312023-12-30
Children And Families, Wisconsin Department Of $ 20,000,000   2020-12-312023-12-30
Family Services, Wyoming Department Of $ 6,603,294   2020-12-312023-12-30
Family, Department Of $ 3,121,944   2020-12-312023-12-30
Education, Idaho State Board Of $ 0   2020-12-312023-12-30
Education, Kansas Dept Of $ 27,106,841   2020-04-302023-04-29
Social Services, South Carolina Department Of $ 33,717,803   2020-04-302023-04-29
Health And Human Services, Nebraska Department Of $ 26,984,931   2020-04-302023-04-29
Education, Illinois State Board Of $ 40,521,341   2019-12-312022-12-30
Health & Human Services, Rhode Island Executive Office Of $ 27,106,841   2019-12-312022-12-30

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2017: Not Applicable. Fiscal Year 2018: It is anticipated that 45-50 applications will be received and that most applications will meet the minimum scoring threshold and will be awarded. Fiscal Year 2019: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

A State, acting through the State entity appointed by the Governor, which receives a grant shall use the grant funds for all of the following activities: '(1) Conducting a periodic statewide needs assessment of? (A) the availability and quality of existing programs in the State, including such programs serving the most vulnerable or underserved populations and children in rural areas; (B) to the extent practicable, the unduplicated number of children being served in existing programs; and (C) to the extent practicable, the unduplicated number of children awaiting service in such programs.

(2) Developing a strategic plan that recommends collaboration, coordination, and quality improvement activities (including activities to improve children's transition from early childhood education programs into elementary schools) among existing programs in the State and local educational agencies.

Such plan shall include information that? (A) identifies opportunities for, and barriers to, collaboration and coordination among existing programs in the State, including among State, local, and tribal (if applicable) agencies responsible for administering such programs; (B) recommends partnership opportunities among Head Start providers, local educational agencies, State and local governments, Indian tribes and tribal organizations, and private entities (including faith- and community-based entities) that would improve coordination, program quality, and delivery of services; (C) builds on existing plans and goals with respect to early childhood education programs, including improving coordination and collaboration among such programs, of the State Advisory Council while incorporating new or updated Federal, State, and local statutory requirements, including? (i) the requirements of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C.

9858 et seq.); and (ii) when appropriate, information found in the report required under section 13 of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-186; 128 Stat.

2002); and (D) describes how accomplishing the activities described in subparagraphs (A) through (C) will better serve children and families in existing programs and how such activities will increase the overall participation of children in the State.

(3) Maximizing parental choice and knowledge about the State's mixed delivery system of existing programs and providers by? (A) ensuring that parents are provided information about the variety of early childhood education programs for children from birth to kindergarten entry in the State's mixed delivery system; and (B) promoting and increasing involvement by parents and family members, including families of low-income and [[Page 129 STAT.

2156]] disadvantaged children, in the development of their children and the transition of such children from an early childhood education program into an elementary school.

(4) Sharing best practices among early childhood education program providers in the State to increase collaboration and efficiency of services, including to improve transitions from such programs to elementary school. (5) After activities described in paragraphs (1) and (2) have been completed, improving the overall quality of early childhood education programs in the State, including by developing and implementing evidence-based practices that meet the requirements of section 8101(21)(A)(i) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, to improve professional development for early childhood education providers and educational opportunities for children.' [Public Law 114-95, Sec 9212 (f) (1-5)].

Limitations on federal interference.--the HHS Secretary or the Secretary of Education is not authorized 'to establish any criterion for grants made under this section that specifies, defines, or prescribes? (A) early learning and development guidelines, standards, or specific assessments, including the standards or measures that States use to develop, implement, or improve such guidelines, standards, or assessments; (B) specific measures or indicators of quality early learning and care, including? (i) the systems that States use to assess the quality of early childhood education programs and providers, school readiness, and achievement; and (ii) the term ?high-quality? as it relates to early learning, development, or care; (C) early learning or preschool curriculum, programs of instruction, or instructional content; (D) teacher and staff qualifications and salaries; (E) class sizes and ratios of children to instructional staff; (F) any new requirement that an early childhood education program is required to meet that is not explicitly authorized in this section; (G) the scope of programs, including length of program day and length of program year; and (H) any aspect or parameter of a teacher, principal, other school leader, or staff evaluation system within a State, local educational agency, or early childhood education program. (2) Limitation on governmental requirements.-- the HHS Secretary, Secretary of Education, the State, or any other governmental agency is not authorized to alter requirements for existing programs for which coordination and alignment activities are recommended under this section, or to force programs to adhere to any recommendations developed through this program.

The Secretary, Secretary of Education, State, or other governmental agency may only take an action described in the preceding sentence as otherwise authorized under Federal, State, or local law. (3) the Secretary of Education does not have sole decision-making or regulatory authority in carrying out the program authorized under this section.' [Public Law 114-95, Sec 9212 (i) (1-3)].

The entire appropriation of $250M is Discretionary: 100%.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

In addition to the 50 States eligible to apply for these grants in FY2018, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are also eligible. In the first year of ESSA PDG implementation (Initial Planning Grants), priority will be given to States not previously awarded under the previous PDG of 2014.

Beneficiary Eligibility

In addition to the 50 States, DC, Puerto Rico, and local communities, beneficiaries include children birth through 5 and their families.


No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Coordination is expected at the state level among all state departments involved in providing supportive early childhood services to children birth through age 5 and their families prior to the submission of a formal application to the Federal funding agency.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. 45 CFR Part 75 also applies to this program. Applications will be submitted through grants.gov. Additional guidance related to the submission of the applications will be included in the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

Award Procedures

Each application will be screened to determine whether it was received by the closing date and time and whether the requested amount exceeds the award ceiling. Applications that are designated as late or those with requests that exceed the award ceiling will be deemed non-responsive and will not be reviewed. Because these grants will be administered jointly by the HHS/ACF and ED, ACF and ED shall review the applications to confirm that each State submitting an application has, as of the date of the application, a mixed delivery system in place. Those applications designated as on time, that do not exceed the award ceiling, and that have a mixed delivery system in place will be reviewed and evaluated by objective review panels using the criteria described in the funding opportunity announcement. Each panel is made up of individuals with knowledge and experience in the area under review. Generally, review panels are composed of three reviewers and one chairperson. Finally, once a slate has been developed, identifying the rankings of each applicant and the amount of funding requested by each, the Secretaries of both Departments will give final approval to those who will receive an award.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Every Student Succeeds Act/Preschool Development Grants, Public Law 114-95, 42 U.S.C 9212.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 60 to 90 days.


Not Applicable.


After the initial year of funding, states are eligible to apply for a Renewal Grant of not more than 3 years to enable states to carry out activities identified in their initial grant's needs assessment and strategic plan. Recipients of the previous PDG grant will be eligible to apply for ESSA PDG Renewal Grants only after they have expended all funds from their previous PDG grant.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Matching Requirements: Percent: 30%. 'Matching requirement.--Each State that receives a grant under this section shall provide funds from non-Federal sources (which may be provided in cash or in kind) to carry out the activities supported by the grant, in an amount equal to not less than 30 percent of the amount of such grant.' [Public Law 114-95, Sec 9212 (c)(4)]. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grantees must obligate all discretionary funds in the fiscal year in which they are granted or in the succeeding fiscal year. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements


'A State that receives an Initial Grant must submit a final report to the Secretary not later than 6 months after the end of the grant period.

The report shall include a description of? (A) how, and to what extent, the grant funds were utilized for any activities for which funds were used to meet the purposes established in this funding announcement; (B) strategies undertaken at the State level and, if applicable, local or program level, to implement recommendations in the strategic plan; (C) any new partnerships among Head Start providers, State and local governments, Indian tribes and tribal organizations, and private entities (including faith- and community-based entities); and how these partnerships improve coordination and delivery of services; (D) if applicable, the degree to which the State used information from the report required under section 13 of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 to inform activities, and how this information was useful in coordinating and collaborating among programs and funding sources; (E) the extent to which activities funded by the initial grant led to the blending or braiding of other public and private funding; (F) how information about available existing programs for children from birth to kindergarten entry was disseminated to parents and families, and how involvement by parents and family was improved; and (G) other State-determined and voluntarily provided information to share best practices regarding early childhood education programs and the coordination of such programs.' [9212 (h)(1)(A-G)].

No cash reports are required.

The frequency of required reporting is described in each funding opportunity announcement.

Grant award documents will inform grantees of the appropriate performance progress report and expenditure report form and format to use and the related timeline and due dates for submitting such reports.

The SF-425 Federal Financial Report for expenditure reporting is required.

Further instructions will be provided with award terms and conditions that will address specific reporting periods and due dates.

Additional information on frequency of reporting is available on the ACF Funding Opportunities web site at http:/www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/msg_sf425.html.

After each state has completed its statewide birth through age 5 needs assessment and strategic plan that recommends collaboration, coordination, and quality improvement activities, it must submit evidence of such completion to HHS and ED in order to spend grant funds on activities targeted on improving overall quality of early childhood education programs in the State.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.


Proper grant accounting records must be maintained. Awards issued under this program are subject to 45 CFR Part 75 - the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for HHS Awards.

Financial Information

Account Identification

75-1819-0-1-536 - PDG B-5.


(Project Grants) FY 17 $0; FY 18 est $243,500,000; and FY 19 Estimate Not Available - The entire amount of funding available is $250,000,000 of which approximately 3% can be used for technical assistance, evaluation, and administrative support.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The range of funding is anticipated to be between $5-10M per Grant Award, based on application request and supporting evidence.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Not Applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Richard F Gonzales Switzer Building 330 C Street, SW Room 4010A, Washington, District of Columbia 20201 Email: richard.gonzales@acf.hhs.gov Phone: 2024015138

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Selection criteria is still being identified.

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