Child care providers interested in adding an Alabama First Class Pre-K classroom to their center are encouraged to participate in a webinar outlining improvements to the state program and its funding application. Potential providers can also take advantage of new technical assistance and support being offered by advocacy organizations throughout the funding application period.
The Alabama School Readiness Alliance and the Alabama Association for Early Care and Education are hosting the informational webinar on Thursday, January 23, from 1:00-2:30pm. On the webinar, Dr. Barbara Cooper, director of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education’s Office of School Readiness, will walk interested applicants through the state’s application process and address improvements made to the First Class Pre-K program, including increased classroom funding amounts and changes to the payment schedules and program guidelines.
Organizations interested in participating must click here to register for the webinar.
The Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education manages the First Class Pre-K program through a competitive funding application process. Public and private schools, child care centers, faith-based centers, Head Start programs, nonprofits and other community-based preschool providers are all eligible to apply. The Department allocates three types of First Class Pre-K funding levels: excellence (up to $50,400), tiered (ranges from $86,904 up to $100,008), and new classroom (up to $120,000).
Funding applications for the 2020-2021 school year are available through March 13, 2020. Funding recipients will be announced later this Spring. The number of new classrooms funded depends on the amount of increased funding approved for the program by the Alabama Legislature in the 2020 legislative session.
The Alabama School Readiness Alliance is also working with its partner organization, the Alabama Partnership for Children, to offer technical assistance to child care programs throughout the First Class Pre-K funding application period. These statewide nonprofits will connect interested providers with local organizations and existing First Class Pre-K providers for mentoring, coaching, and support. The groups will also advise potential providers on strategies to identify matching funds, classroom space, and other needs.
Child care directors and others can request support by filling out this form on the ASRA website.