$7.8 million grant to expand access to prekindergarten
AUSTIN, September 22, 2016 – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) have announced a new prekindergarten planning and implementation grant that will provide school districts with additional capacity to expand quality prekindergarten programs.
Through this Prekindergarten Partnership Grant, 4-star Texas Rising Star (TRS) child care providers are eligible to partner with their local independent school districts and charter schools to provide prekindergarten to 3- and 4-year-old children. By partnering with private prekindergarten providers that have demonstrated exemplary performance standards by achieving the highest level TRS quality rating, school systems will have an avenue to provide high quality early childhood education to more Texas children.
“This partnership with TEA reflects a strong commitment to increase the number of Texas children in high quality early learning environments,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “These public-private partnerships between ISD’s and 4-star Texas Rising Star providers will generate new school readiness and alignment opportunities for Texas early learners.”
TWC has strengthened the quality standards for its Texas Rising Star program, a voluntary, quality-based rating system for TWC’s subsidized child care program. In addition, TWC has provided expanded financial and staff resources to assist an increased number of child care providers in becoming TRS certified or moving toward higher levels of TRS certification across the state of Texas.
“This collaboration between TEA and TWC will help expand access to quality prekindergarten programs, strengthening the future of Texas public education and workforce development,” said Commissioner of Education Mike Morath.
TWC will award TEA $7.8 million in Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) funds for planning and implementation grants for school districts and charters to build partnerships with TRS 4-Star Child Care Providers to expand prekindergarten service capacity.
“This partnership provides continued support for small business owners to sustain their business to provide high quality child care in their community,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs.
“This grant partnership, not only helps strengthen the quality of standards for TRS providers, but will help increase the enrollment capacity of the program,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez.