Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo
California Department of Education News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #11-101
December 16, 2011
Contact: Paul Hefner
Phone: 916-319-0818

California Wins Federal "Race to the Top" Early Learning Challenge Grant

SACRAMENTO—Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that California has been awarded a $52.6 million federal Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge Grant [Note: The preceding link is no longer active.].

"Local education leaders have developed solid proposals for improving early childhood education, which have now been recognized by the Obama administration," said Governor Brown.

"This grant will help more California children get good care and a good start at learning, which we know is key to their long-term success, at school and beyond," Torlakson said. "I'm proud of the teamwork that led to this win for California, and I'm grateful to President Obama for recognizing the potential of regional partnerships to improve child care programs across our state."

California was among 35 states, plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, to submit an application for the Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge, a $500 million state-level competitive grant program to improve early learning and development.

The California grant will primarily fund local Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) being developed by Regional Leadership Consortia—voluntary groups of local First 5 commissions, county offices of education, and county governments. These Consortia will work with licensed child care programs, school districts, and child care partners.

The local QRIS are meant to make information about the quality of child-care programs readily available to parents and policymakers though simple, independent, and publicly available ratings. Using the QRIS, each participating child development agency would receive a rating score based on common standards regarding the learning environment, teacher effectiveness, and parent engagement.

Over time, the QRIS are expected to help improve the availability of high-quality, linguistically and culturally appropriate service to children with high needs. These include infants and toddlers, dual-language learners, and children with disabilities and other special needs.

"In these challenging fiscal times, winning this grant will help parents find and use the best programs possible—without additional costs to parents or taxpayers," Torlakson said.

# # # #

Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Share this Page

Recently Posted in News Releases

  • First Year of CAASPP Results (added 09-Sep-2015)
    State Schools Chief Torlakson Calls First Year of CAASPP Results California's Starting Point Toward Goal of Career and College Readiness.
  • Torlakson Urges Diplomas be Granted (added 28-Aug-2015)
    State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Urges High School Diplomas be Granted Immediately to All Students Affected by Recent CAHSEE Legislation.
  • $50 Million Available in Broadband Grants (added 24-Aug-2015)
    State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces State Provides $50 Million to Connect Schools to the Internet.
  • New LCFF Snapshot Available (added 17-Aug-2015)
    California Department of Education Offers New Online Tool That Provides Vital Data on Schools.
  • Torlakson Disappointed By Federal Decision (added 12-Aug-2015)
    State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Disappointed By Federal Decision Limiting Local Control over Programs to Help Low-Income Students.