Every Student Succeeds Act/Preschool Development Grants


Section 9212 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), PL 114-95 establishes the Preschool Development Grants (PDG). This award seeks to assist states (including territories) in helping low-income and disadvantaged children enter Kindergarten prepared and ready to succeed in school and to help improve the transitions from the early care and education setting to elementary school. The overall responsibility of the ESSA PDG is to assist states (including territories) in the coordination of their existing early childhood service delivery models and funding streams - for the purpose of serving more children birth through age five in a mixed delivery model. The ESSA PDG has three targeted purposes. It aims to: "(1) assist States to develop, update, or implement a strategic plan that facilitates collaboration and coordination among existing programs of early childhood care and education in a mixed delivery system across the State designed to prepare low-income and disadvantaged children to enter kindergarten and to improve transitions from such system into the local educational agency or elementary school that enrolls such children, by (A) more efficiently using existing Federal, State, local, and non-governmental resources to align and strengthen the delivery of existing programs, (B) coordinating the delivery models and funding streams existing in the State's mixed delivery system; and (C) developing recommendations to better use existing resources in order to improve-- (i) the overall participation of children in a mixed delivery system of Federal, State, and local early childhood education programs; (ii) program quality while maintaining availability of services; (iii) parental choice among existing programs; and (iv) school readiness for children from low- income and disadvantaged families, including during such children's transition into elementary school; (2) encourage partnerships among Head Start providers, State and local governments, Indian tribes and tribal organizations, private entities (including faith- and community- based entities), and local educational agencies, to improve coordination, program quality, and delivery of services; and (3) maximize parental choice among a mixed delivery system of early childhood education program providers." [Note to 42 USC 9831(a)] The PDG B-5 Planning Grants are one-year awards allowing states and territories to develop and implement a comprehensive, statewide, birth through five needs assessment. States and territories then develop a related strategic plan that also addresses activities that lead to more meaningful parent engagement, the sharing of resources and best practices among the different early childhood program providers, and improvements in overall quality, specific to each state's developmental goals. The PDG B-5 Renewal Grants are three-year awards that allow states and territories to implement their strategic plans and periodically update their needs assessments and related strategic plans. The renewal grant recipients continue to improve their coordination and collaboration of programs, services, and systems, while focusing on data integration, ongoing monitoring and evaluation, and improvement of governance structures, policy development, and stakeholder engagement.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Administration For Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 Not Applicable
Fiscal Year 2017 Not Applicable Not Applicable
Fiscal Year 2018 47 applications were received and 46 met the minimum scoring threshold and were awarded. These States and Territories are: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington.
Fiscal Year 2019 Six States/Territories were awarded a 1 year PDG B-5 Initial Grant. Twenty-three of 46 States/Territories with an existing Initial Grant from 2018 were awarded a 3 year PDG B-5 Renewal Grant.
Fiscal Year 2020 Twenty (20) States received their first year of their 3 year PDG B-5 funding at the end of December 2019. These 20 States were AL, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IL, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OR, RI, VA, and WA. Also in December 2019, three (3) additional States (ID, WI, and WY) and 3 additional Territories (CNMI, GU, and PR) received one year PDG B-5 Initial Grants. In April 2020, three (3) additional States - KS, NE, and SC - received the first year of their 3 year PDG B-5 Renewal Grant funding.
Fiscal Year 2021 Twenty (20) States received their second year of their 3 year PDG B-5 funding at the end of December 2020. Also, in December 2020, five (5) States/Territories - GU, ID, PR, WI, and WY - were awarded funds for the first year of their 3 year PDG B-5 Renewal Grant. Finally, in December 2020, the PDG B-5 Initial Grant for all 46 original States/Territories came to an end with 23 Final Reports completed, and the remaining 23 scheduled to be completed by June 2021. In April 2021, three (3) additional States - KS, NE, SC - received their second year of their 3 year Renewal Grant funding.
Fiscal Year 2022 At the end of December 2021, twenty (20) States received their third year of their 3 year PDG B-5 Renewal Grant funding. Also, in December 2021, five (5) States/Territories were awarded funds for their second year of their 3 year PDG B-5 Renewal Grant. In April 2022, three (3) additional States (KS, NE, and SC) received their third year of their 3 year PDG B-5 Renewal Grant funding. The PDG B-5 Initial Grant Final Reports for 3 of the remaining 6 States/Territories were completed before the end of FY 2022. The final 3 Initial Grant Final Reports were received between June and September 30, 2022. The original 20 Renewal Grant recipients submitted their 2021 Annual Performance Progress Report (APPR) between January and May 2022.
Fiscal Year 2023 At the end of December 2022, ACF awarded 13 new Initial Grants, which will now be referred to as Planning Grants. Of these 21, two states had never received PDG funding previously - TN and WV. In addition, ACF awarded 21 new Renewal Grants to those states and territories that have previously received an Initial Grant, but have not previously received a Renewal Grant.
Every Student Succeeds Act/Preschool Development Grants, Section 9212(c)(1), Public Law 114-95, Note to 42 U.S.C. 9831
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa have been eligible to apply for either an initial or planning grant and a renewal grant, per each opportunity's Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) eligibility determination. Recipients that have previously received an initial or planning grant are eligible to apply for a renewal grant.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Beneficiaries are state and local communities with children birth through 5 and their families.
Correspondence from the Governor identifying the state entity that will have responsibility for execution and administration of the PDG B-5 award is required. 2CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. Coordination is expected at the state level among all state departments involved in providing supportive early childhood services to children birth through age 5 and their families prior to the submission of a formal application to the Federal funding agency.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applicants may find and apply to NOFOs on htpps://www.grants.gov.
Award Procedure
Each application will be screened to determine whether it meets any of the disqualifying factors: missing the application deadline, required electronic submission or waiver requested and approved, or exceeding the Award Ceiling. Disqualified applications are considered to be "non-responsive" and are excluded from the competitive review process. Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated by objective review panels using only the criteria described in Section V.1, Criteria of this NOFO. Each panel is composed of experts with knowledge and experience in the area under review. Generally, review panels include three reviewers and one chairperson. Results of the competitive objective review are taken into consideration by ACF in the selection of projects for funding; however, objective review scores and rankings are not binding. Scores and rankings are only one element used in the award decision-making process. If identified in Section I. Program Description, ACF reserves the right to consider preferences to fund organizations serving emerging unserved or underserved populations, including those populations located in pockets of poverty. In addition, ACF reserves the right to evaluate applications in the larger context of the overall portfolio by considering geographic distribution of federal funds (e.g. ensuring coverage of states, counties, or service areas) in its pre-award decisions. ACF may elect not to fund applications with management or financial problems that would indicate an inability to successfully complete the proposed project. In addition, ACF may elect to not allow a prime recipient to subaward if there is any indication that they are unable to properly monitor and manage subrecipients. Applications may be funded in whole or in part. Successful applicants may be funded at an amount lower than requested.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 60 to 90 days.
Not applicable.
After a initial or planning grant year of funding, states are eligible to apply for a Renewal Grant of not more than 3 years to enable states to carry out activities identified in their planning grant's needs assessment and strategic plan.
How are proposals selected?
The criteria for selecting proposals will be published in the NOFOs.
How may assistance be used?
PDG B-5 Initial or Planning Grant: A State, acting through the State agency appointed by the Governor, which receives a PDG B-5 Initial Grant shall use the funds for all of the following activities: (1) Conducting a periodic statewide needs assessment of— (A) the availability and quality of existing programs in the State, including such programs serving the most vulnerable or underserved populations and children in rural areas; (B) to the extent practicable, the unduplicated number of children being served and (C) awaiting service in such programs. (2) Developing a strategic plan that recommends collaboration, coordination, and quality improvement activities among existing programs in the State and local educational agencies, including activities to improve children's transition from early childhood education programs into elementary schools. The strategic plan must include information that— (A) identifies opportunities for, and barriers to, collaboration and coordination among existing programs in the State, responsible for administering such programs; (B) recommends partnership opportunities among Head Start providers, local educational agencies, State and local governments, Indian tribes and tribal organizations, and private entities (including faith- and community-based entities) that would improve coordination, program quality, and delivery of services; (C) builds on existing plans and goals with respect to early childhood education programs; (D) describes how accomplishing these activities will better serve children and families in existing programs and how such activities will increase the overall participation of children in the State. (3) Maximizing parental choice and knowledge about the State's mixed delivery system of existing programs and providers by— (A) ensuring that parents are provided information about the variety of early childhood education programs for children from birth to kindergarten entry in the State's mixed delivery system; and (B) promoting and increasing involvement by parents and family members, including families of low-income and disadvantaged children, in the development of their children and the transition of such children from an early childhood education program into an elementary school. (4) Sharing best practices among early childhood education program providers in the State to increase collaboration and efficiency of services, including to improve transitions from such programs to elementary school. (5) After the statewide needs assessment and strategic plan have been completed, improving the overall quality of early childhood education programs in the State, including by developing and implementing evidence-based practices to improve professional development for early childhood education providers and educational opportunities for children [Note to 42 USC 9831(f)]. PDG B-5 Renewal Grant: A State, acting through the State agency appointed by the Governor, which receives a PDG B-5 Renewal Grant shall use the funds to continue activities begun in the initial year and/or start new activities including awarding subgrants to benefit programs in a mixed delivery system across the State designed to assist low-income and disadvantaged children prior to entering kindergarten to enable programs to implement activities addressing areas in need of improvement as determined by the State, or develop new programs to address the needs of children and families eligible for, but not served by, such programs. If a State chooses to award subgrants, the State shall prioritize activities to improve areas in which there are State-identified needs that would improve services for low-income and disadvantaged children living in rural areas.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: There is an annual Performance Progress Report data information collection for renewal award recipients intended to complement information provided in the Quarterly Performance Progress and Financial Reports. (OMB Control No: 0970-0490; Expiration Date: 03/31/2026.) For initial or planning grant awards, quarterly performance progress reports are required along with an Initial or Planning Grant Final Program Report. For renewal awards quarterly performance progress reports are also required along with an Annual Performance Progress Report and a Final Report at the end of the three year grant period. For more information, see: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/manage-grant/reporting.
45 CFR Part 75 Subpart F applies to this initiative.
All records are to be maintained in accordance with 45 CFR 75.361-365.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory. 30%. "Matching requirement.--Each State that receives a grant under this section shall provide funds from non-Federal sources (which may be provided in cash or in kind) to carry out the activities supported by the grant, in an amount equal to not less than 30 percent of the federal amount of the grant." [Note to 42 USC 9831]

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Recipients must obligate all discretionary funds in the fiscal year in which they are granted or in the succeeding fiscal year. Initial/Planning Grants have a 12-month budget and project period. Renewal Grants are for 36 months with three 12-month budget and project periods. Post award, our Division of Payment Management will establish an account from which a recipient may draw down award funds.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Richard F Gonzales
Switzer Building
330 C Street, SW.,
Room 4012E
Washington, DC 20201 US
Phone: 2024015138
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 22$262,692,683.00; FY 23 est $560,148,694.00; FY 24 est $351,190,982.00; FY 21$275,058,489.00; FY 20$264,175,804.00; FY 19$248,117,937.00; FY 18$242,742,262.00; FY 16$0.00; FY 17$0.00; Estimate Not Available -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
The range of funding has been between $500,000 and $16 million per Grant Award, based on application request and supporting evidence. The average award has been approximately $9 million.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


Federal Grants Resources