(Salem, Ore) – The Early Learning Division is now accepting applications to expand culturally specific early learning programs and infant, toddler, and preschool education programs to serve Oregon’s youngest children and families. The funds are available thanks to the Student Success Act – a historic $1 billion annual investment in Oregon education that was approved by the 2019 Legislature.
“We are excited to partner with organizations across the state to provide the high-quality early learning experiences that Oregon’s young children and their families deserve,” said Early Learning System Director Miriam Calderon. “This is an important step forward for our state toward reaching our goals for an equitable early learning system – one that ensures each child has the best start in life, and families are supported.”
Funding to operate programs within the Early Learning Account is available through a Request for Application (RFA) process. The deadline to apply is April 2, 2020. Separate applications are open for each of the following:
- Preschool Promise: A high-quality, publicly-funded preschool program that serves children ages three and four in families living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, children in foster care and children from other historically underserved populations. The statewide expansion will reach about 3,865 preschoolers.
- Early Childhood Equity Fund: A new program established under the Student Success Act that will provide about $10 million annually in grants to support a broad range of culturally specific early learning, early childhood and parent support programs.
- Oregon Pre-kindergarten (OPK): Oregon modeled this program after Early Head Start and Head Start to expand high-quality early learning programs to low-income families with the highest need. OPK is free to families from the period of prenatal to five years old who are not yet eligible for kindergarten, and who meet income or other eligibility qualifications.
- Fiscal Agent: Preschool Promise Fiscal Agents will be eligible to provide technical assistance to Preschool Promise providers on a variety of business and administrative functions relating to their businesses.
Community-based organizations, child care providers, public and private schools, culturally specific organizations, business organizations (fiscal agent), and more are encouraged to apply. The state will be offering webinars and in person technical assistance for the RFA process. To learn more about the Early Learning Account or to apply for funding, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/student-success-act.