Mayor Vincent C. Gray has lauded the District's efforts on early-childhood education. The District of Columbia was one of 37 applicants – including 35 other states and Puerto Rico – that competed for the White House's Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grants.
While the District was not one of the nine states the White House selected for grants, the competition provided an unprecedented opportunity for D.C. to bring multiple government agencies together to accelerate systemic and sustained policy change that will significantly raise the level of quality and access to early learning and development opportunities for our city's most at-risk children.
"While the District was not selected in this round, I am enthusiastic about the plan we submitted for the Early Learning Challenge and the potential for improving the coordination, efficiency and effectiveness of our early-childhood programs," said Mayor Gray, a longtime advocate for early-childhood education. "Although we did not win federal funding, we are committed to continuing our efforts in improving early childhood education in the District."
The application process was facilitated by the Deputy Mayor for Education, working in conjunction with the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. The D.C. Departments of Health, Human Services, Mental Health, Health Care Finance, the Child and Family Services Agency, and the State Early Childhood Development Coordinating Council joined the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in signing on to the application.