Kindergarten Development Grants

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

Kindergarten Expansion Grants were eliminated in the FY 2017 budget.

Kindergarten Expansion Grants comprise two separate initiatives aimed at expanding access to high-quality, full-day kindergarten:

1) Transition Planning for Full-Day Kindergarten Grants

2) Quality Full-Day Kindergarten Grants. These serve as one of the main supports to increase the number of districts with full-day kindergarten

Full-day kindergarten is a key part of the state’s early learning and care system, ensuring that kids across the state have a strong foundation for academic, social, and personal growth starting at birth and going through 3rd grade.

All districts with kindergarten-aged students must provide part-time kindergarten schooling for a total of 425 hours per school year, or roughly 2.5 hours daily. Not all are not required to offer full-day kindergarten. Districts receiving Kindergarten Expansion Grants are required to double the kindergarten learning time over the school year through a 5 hour daily program. These grants are part of a larger effort that has tripled the percentage of kids statewide (88 percent today from 29 percent) who have access to free full-day kindergarten between 1999 and 2014. In the 2013-2014 school year, Kindergarten Expansion Grants supported over 47,000 students in obtaining full-day services and assisted several districts in planning to serve an additional 375 students in the 2014-2015 school year.

Transition Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to districts moving part-time kindergarten classrooms to full-day. The maximum classroom grant amount has decreased in recent years from $14,900 in FY 2008 to $10,000 in FY 2016. Districts with high percentages of low-income students, high percentages of English language learners, and/or low 3rd grade MCAS scores are prioritized for transition grants.

Quality Full-Day Grants fund a range of local district kindergarten improvement initiatives, including providing professional development, aligning curricula across preschool to grade three, securing accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and improving programs for English Language Learners and students with disabilities. In 2014, 169 local schools and districts received $23.8 million in Quality Full-Day Kindergarten Grants.

Updated September 2016

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