Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) Renewal Grant Award
In November 2018, DCDEE applied to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care for a Preschool Development Grant (PDG) for activities to strengthen North Carolina’s early childhood education system. DCDEE was notified of the $4.5 million grant award on December 31, 2018.
The states who received the initial PDG B-5 award were then eligible to apply for a renewal grant in November 2019 to further the work that began during the initial grant cycle. NC elected to apply for the renewal grant in order to continue strengthening and enhancing North Carolina’s early childhood education system. On December 31, 2019, notification was received that North Carolina is among 20 states and territories that have been awarded three-year renewal grants through the PDG B-5!
DCDEE will receive over $40 million during the 3-year grant to build upon the work from the previous planning grant and implement activities that will address areas identified as high priority in the PDG Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan. The funded activities also align with North Carolina’s Early Childhood Action Plan. North Carolina's application is available for download. Please note that the initial application does not reflect the final award.
What new PDG activities are planned for North Carolina?
- Family Engagement – The Needs Assessment identified a great need for home visiting services, with less than 1% of families having access to a home visiting program in NC. NC will pilot Family Connects, a universal home visiting program, with a goal of full statewide implementation over time.
- Sharing Best Practices - While a number of technical assistance opportunities currently provide supports to early childhood (EC) educators and administrators through the Child Care Resource & Referral system, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Smart Start, and other entities, the Needs Assessment recommended improving the pipeline for EC educators to ensure that the teacher supply keeps up with demand and further builds a competency-based model that supports training and coursework to ensure knowledge is put into practice in the classroom. Two new activities are planned to address this need.
- Improving Overall Quality - The Needs Assessment found that NC families, particularly those from vulnerable populations, need affordable high-quality infant/toddler (I/T) care. The Needs Assessment also identified limited offerings and access barriers for specialized services and gaps in specialized transition services for specific populations of children. New activities to address this need include a feasibility and cost study of establishing a statewide high-quality I/T program based on the Babies First NC pilot; increasing early identification and mental health supports for young children; increasing access to high quality care through alternative rate methodology; and a two-part strategy to ensure that young NC children experiencing homelessness receive appropriate early childhood education services to promote their wellness and readiness to succeed in school.
- Data Use for Continuous Improvement – The Needs Assessment recommended that NC continue efforts to improve its EC data systems. DCDEE will work with the Department of Public Instruction and Teaching Strategies GOLD®, a developmentally appropriate criterion-referenced system for assessing children’s knowledge, skills, and behaviors from birth through third grade to support transitions by sharing information about each child’s developmental progress across pre-k and kindergarten programs.