This report reviews the status of early childhood education in Arkansas and the awarding of almost $60 million from the federal government's preschool development grant program to expand high-quality preschool programs in high-need communities. Information is provided on how the funding will be spread over four years to reach 1,371 new children and increases funding for 1,506 others. Additional funding from State and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation are also discussed. The next section explains new requirements in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). The following recommendations for strengthening early childhood education are made: provide ongoing revenue to ensure that the ABC program maintains the high quality that kids need in order to start their schooling on the right foot (and possibly fund additional slots); take the best practices learned from the Good 2 Great grant and apply them broadly; provide State funding to meet the new standards for CCDBG; and successfully implement the new pre-K standards and Kindergarten assessment.
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