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For immediate release: February 21, 2020

Governor Cuomo Announces New York Awarded $40 million Federal Grant to Coordinate and Strengthen Early Childhood System

Agencies and Parents to Collaborate on Improving Services to Place our Youngest New Yorkers on a Path for Success
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York has been awarded a $40.2 million federal grant to coordinate and strengthen the State's early childhood system. The Preschool Development Birth Through Five grant will help support and continue the progress made to enhance the early childhood workforce and expand access to high-quality early care and education programs by sharing best practices and engaging parents as leaders. The funding - $13.4 million annually over three years -- from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration of Children and Families will be administered by the New York State Council on Children and Families.
"New York is committed to creating opportunities for every child to reach their fullest potential by providing our youth with the highest quality of childcare, health care and education," Governor Cuomo said. "Strong collaboration among early childhood programs is critical and this funding will further support our efforts to put our youngest New Yorkers on a path to success."
"I know how important it is to have access to affordable, high-quality child care to help ensure the development and success of our young people," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the NYS Child Care Availability Task Force said. "This significant federal grant, secured thanks to our strong state and federal partnerships, will enable enhanced coordination and strengthen educational programs and workforce development in the early child care system across the state. The funding builds on our efforts to find innovative solutions to increase child care services and make sure working families have the resources they need for success now and in the future."
The grant funding will align the early care and education system, which includes child care, prekindergarten, Head Start, preschool special education, home visiting and early intervention, to apply consistent standards and measurement and will enable families to access equitable and comprehensive care, engaging learning environments and essential services for successful development.
The New York State Council on Children and Families, Early Childhood Advisory Council, New York State Office of Children and Family Services, New York State Education Department, New York State Office of Mental Health and other child-serving stakeholders will continue to partner with parents and providers in the next three years to enhance coordination among existing early care programs and services and more efficiently provide equitable access to high-quality programs. Many of the partners supported by this grant are members of the Governor's Early Childhood Advisory Council and the Governor's Child Care Availability Task Force. The work will complement the Task Force's goals of decreasing child care deserts and working with families to assess and meet their early child care and education needs.
Congressman Joseph Morelle said, "Investing in our children means investing in the future of our community. That's why it is so important that we ensure children have essential support services from a young age to allow them to grow and thrive. I am proud to have helped secure this federal funding and am grateful to Governor Cuomo as well as our many statewide organizations for their partnership and dedication to better serving our children, especially those in need." 
OCFS Commissioner Sheila J. Poole said, "A high-quality, enriching and nurturing learning environment in the early years promotes children's development and success later in life, building a strong future for our state. Every parent deserves to go to work with the peace of mind that their children are safe, well cared for and on the path to learning-readiness and success."
Council on Children and Families Executive Director Renée L. Rider said, "These grant funds will help us build on existing statewide early care and education initiatives that have been successful in improving outcomes for our youngest New Yorkers and their families. I am excited about the opportunities going forward, especially related to bringing the education and healthcare sectors together to ensure our children are developmentally on track to be successful in school and beyond."
New York State Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker said, "The Department of Health looks forward to partnering with CCF to assess and enhance our early intervention programs. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, we continue to attract investments that strengthen New York State's high-quality, comprehensive system of early childhood care and improve outcomes for young children and families."
Office of Mental Health Commissioner Ann Marie T. Sullivan: "OMH is excited to help support the social emotional development of children in early care and learning settings. This grant will afford opportunities to intervene earlier and improve outcomes by assuring that the right services are offered at the right time in natural settings to best support the child and family/caregiver. Early and intensive interventions lead to better outcomes. This funding also provides the opportunity to support the workforce and increase their skills."  
NYS Head Start Collaboration Director and Early Childhood Advisory Council Co-Chair Patty Persell said, "With funding and attention to a systems-building process in New York, a shared goal of aligning the early care and education system can be realized. By improving parent choice and knowledge about New York's early childhood programs and services, parents will be able to make informed decisions about their child's care and education that meet the needs of the whole family."
Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said, "The Board of Regents is engaged in an ambitious effort to find a pathway to strengthen the State's early care, preschool, and early childhood education policies to benefit all of New York's children. This grant provides an exciting opportunity to invigorate our work with other state agencies to think critically about our current system for early learning and develop a clear plan of action that engages families in their children's early care and education."
Interim State Education Commissioner Shannon Tahoe said, "We are happy to partner with CCF and additional state agencies to ensure all New York's children have opportunities for success. When we provide comprehensive services for children and families and strengthen supports for the early childhood workforce, we see the benefits throughout a child's life. This funding presents an opportunity to drastically improve accessibility and quality of early care and learning programs for children, particularly our most vulnerable, by engaging families in early care and education choices."
New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council Co-Chair and University Dean of Early Childhood Initiatives at the City University of New York, Sherry Cleary said, "This new grant will support New York's comprehensive efforts to build effective systems for our youngest children and their families. New York's agencies and non-profit organizations have been working together to make sure our children have the tools to thrive. Successful futures depend on strong early childhoods and this grant will fund essential pieces of the systems we envision for New York."