Maui News

Hawai’i Seeks “Race to the Top” Funding for Early Education

July 19, 2011, 4:32 PM HST
* Updated July 20, 10:40 AM
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File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The State of Hawai’i will be applying for the new ”Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge” grant competition.

Governor Neil Abercrombie submitted a notice of intent to apply for the program last week.  Applications will be made available for the competition later this summer, with grants to be awarded by the end of the year.

The new “Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge” grant competition is aimed in part at supporting efforts at increasing the percentage of low-income and disadvantaged children who are enrolled in early learning programs.

Hawai’i may apply for up to $50 million, a cap based on the state’s share of the national population of children from birth to five years old from low-income families.


In his effort to make early childhood education a top priority for his administration, Governor Abercrombie appointed Terry Lock as his Early Childhood Coordinator.  Lock, who started her new position on July 11, will lead the application effort.


“We are investing in our young children so that their current and future well-being is not an afterthought,” said Governor Abercrombie. “The pursuit of this opportunity will pull everyone together to focus on a common goal. The competition for this funding will be fierce, but our Administration is committed to working with the community to make permanent changes that will improve the lives of our keiki.”

Hawai’i’s application for the Early Learning Challenge will be aligned with the state’s K-12 “Race to the Top” grant award.  It will also build on strategies first articulated in the “Framework for a Comprehensive Early Childhood System,” written by the Hawai’i Early Learning Council in December 2010.

*** Supporting information courtesy, Office of the Governor, State of Hawai’i.

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