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Delaware gets $4 million early learning federal grant

Delaware Public Media

Delaware is getting federal funding to improve its early learning system.

The federal government is sending the First State 4.2 million dollars to streamline early learning for kids from birth to five years old.

Kim Krzanowski, executive director for the Office of Early Learning, said fewer than 500 of the state’s 1,100 preschool programs participate in the Delaware Stars program. Delaware Stars, which started as a pilot progam in 2007,  gives quality ratings to programs for meeting certain criteria.

“So if you have 1,100, but only 470 are in our quality ratings system - you’ve got a gap of around 600 plus programs that are not being held to same standards as they would if they were in Delaware Stars,” she said.

Krzanowski said some grant money will be used for a needs assessment to determine barriers and gaps in services. It will also look at children not attending preschool and how to connect with those families.

“It really allows us to once again streamline our focus on what’s going to have the biggest impact for children from birth to five in the state,” she said.

Krzanowski is confident the state’s multiple early learning initiatives, such as First Lady Tracey Carney’s First Start literacy initiative, will be connected to the federal grant.

The information will be used to design a new five-year strategic plan for the Delaware Early Childhood Council.

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