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  • Dawn Alexander

PDG Birth-5 Federal Funding AT RISK---ACTION ITEM

Call to Action: Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five (PDG B-5)

The Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) program is a $315 million competitive federal grant designed to improve states’ early childhood systems by building upon existing federal, state and local early learning and care investments.

In the House Labor/HHS FY 2024 appropriations bill, the PDG B-5 program is eliminated. PDG B-5 is a critical federal early learning program that has traditionally had widespread bipartisan support. The program represents a unique opportunity for the federal government to support state investments and initiatives as they may work to best align and continue to grow their early learning systems. Continued federal funding is necessary for states and territories to continue to build and improve effective mixed-delivery systems.

Your lawmakers need to hear from you about the importance of this critical program to your state BEFORE August! Now is the time to call or email congressional staff to ask them to protect and prioritize Preschool Development Grants before they are eliminated.

Initial Grant 2018Renewal Grant 2019 (per year for 3 years) Initial Grant 2023 Colorado$5,801,793 $11,171,968 per year x 3 Total: $33,515,907$3,971,588

Why is PDG B-5 Important in Colorado?

  • PDG B-5 funds have been crucial in helping Colorado improve coordination of its existing child care and early learning programs and services to meet the identified needs of their children and families. While the initial grant supported Colorado in conducting a comprehensive statewide birth through five needs assessment followed by in-depth strategic planning, the renewal grant provides funds for Colorado to carry out the activities in their strategic plan. (Great to share state specific examples)

  • PDG B-5 offers unique opportunities for Colorado to strengthen and integrate early childhood systems, ultimately empowering Colorado to reduce fragmentation, foster parental choice and maximize the reach of state and federal investments to better serve children and families.

  • PDG B-5 has strong bipartisan support, with nearly every governor across the country applying for funds and continuing to show tremendous commitment by designating a state agency to administer the grant and by putting forward a state match of 30% to federal funding. Currently, 42 states are benefiting from the program. Learn more about what governors on both sides of the aisle have said about the positive impacts PDG B-5 has had in their state here.

What Would Eliminating the PDG B-5 Program Mean for Colorado?

  1. Colorado would lose critical support and resources that encourage collaboration across programs. Colorado uses PDG B-5 funding to more effectively coordinate and collaborate among existing programs, improve program quality, expand access, and maximize parental choice in the mixed delivery early care and education system.

2. The $3.9 million awarded to Colorado in the PDG B-5 initial grant this year is

essentially wasted funding and time. This year, Colorado received a new one-year initial planning grant to conduct a state-level needs assessment and create a strategic plan that optimizes existing early care and education resources. Without the continuation of the program, Colorado will not have federal support to move forward in addressing its identified needs and implementing its strategic plans. In their 2023 planning grant application, among other uses, Colorado noted that they would use PDG B-5 planning grant funding to:

  1. Increase the availability of developmental screenings and referrals in child-serving settings and data integration tasks, as included in the Colorado Shines Brighter B-5 Strategic Plan.

  2. Design a family child care home compensation pilot, increasing the salaries of family child care providers that have a high percentage of children enrolled receiving state subsidy.

3. Colorado would lose crucial funds being used to support the ECE workforce. Providers across the state are struggling to recruit and retain qualified early childhood educators more than ever before. Without the ECE workforce, providers will be forced to shut down and more children will be unable to access care. While Colorado has been able to use COVID-19 relief resources to support the workforce, these relief funds are set to expire in September 2024. With pandemic relief funding and PDG B-5 funding gone, Colorado will face significant hurdles supporting providers and child care programs.

FYI: Wikipedia put together an accessible list of Federal Legislators:


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