Congressman John Sarbanes

Representing the 3rd District of Maryland

Sarbanes, Team Maryland Secure $10.6 Million Federal Grant to Assess Maryland Children’s Needs

January 9, 2019
Contact: Daniel Jacobs
(202) 225-4016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today joined U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, along with Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Elijah E. Cummings, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin  and David Trone (all-D-Md.) in announcing that Maryland received $10.6 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five program to conduct a statewide comprehensive needs assessment for Maryland children aged 5 and younger.

In October 2018, Maryland’s full Congressional Delegation urged HHS Secretary Alex Azar to support the Maryland State Department of Education’s grant application for this critical program.

“This new federal investment in Maryland’s children will help improve early childhood education and services across our state,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “I was proud to work alongside my colleagues in the Maryland Congressional Delegation to secure these important funds.”

“I’m proud that the Maryland State Department of Education has secured $10.6 million in federal funds to conduct a statewide assessment of what must be done to ensure that Maryland students have quality childhood education programs,” said Senator Cardin. “The federal funds announced today will strengthen existing and future federal-state investments in childhood education and go a long way toward helping students excel when entering kindergarten.”

“To best prepare our children for the future, we have to start early,” said Senator Van Hollen. “This investment in Maryland’s children will help ensure that they get the care they need and the education they deserve in order to succeed. I was proud to support this funding – grants like this benefit all Marylanders and are key to our children’s success.”

“I’m very pleased that the state of Maryland has again received funding through the Preschool Development Grants program,” said Congressman Hoyer. “As we have seen in past years, this federal investment will help improve upon our existing early childhood infrastructure including, Judy Centers, which provide comprehensive services and education to children and families. These new funds are an important step in ensuring the success of children and families in Maryland.”

“I often say that our children are the living messages that we send to a future we will never see, and nurturing a student’s early development is crucial to fostering their future success. I applaud the Maryland State Department of Education for securing $10.6 million in federal funds to assess childhood education programs statewide so that we can ensure every young student has access to the skills needed to excel when entering kindergarten,” said Congressman Cummings.

“This is the type of common sense investment Americans want and expect,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “Research suggests that Pre-K can improve a child’s chance of success in school and in life – children who attend Pre-K are more likely to graduate from high school, earn more as adults and avoid involvement in our criminal justice system. This is an investment in our future.”

“I want to thank this administration for granting funds to help ensure Maryland’s preschool children in need receive a high quality education. Thank you to Secretary Azar for his response to the Maryland delegation’s request – assuring these federal funds will help benefit preschool children who need strong education programs,” said Congressman Harris.

“One of the greatest sources of inequality in our country is the inability for every American family to access early childhood education,” said Congressman Brown. “When we give every child the opportunity to succeed, every child can succeed, and set themselves down the path toward long-term achievement. This federal funding is a significant step to ensure more of Maryland’s families have the opportunity to set their children up for success, and a reminder that our work is not done until we realize our goal of universal pre-K.”

“I’m thrilled that Maryland was chosen to receive this money to conduct a statewide study of early childhood needs. We are committed to getting the information and following through with the policies we need to guarantee all kids are ready to excel when they get to kindergarten,” said Congressman Raskin.

“There is nothing more important than investing in the next generation, and that starts with early childhood education,” said Congressman Trone. “This federal funding will help ensure that we do everything we can to set up our children for success at an early age.”

According to the Maryland State Department of Education, the new grant funding will help support several early childhood education initiatives across the state, including:

  • 8 Regional Town Halls across Maryland to conduct a Statewide Prenatal to Age 5 Needs Assessment to improve access and quality to early childhood education programs with a focus on our most vulnerable children;
  • Funding all 24 local Early Childhood Advisory Councils;
  • Training and coaching 200 early childhood educators on Maryland's new 4-year-old integrated curriculum;
  • Modernizing Maryland's early childhood data system;
  • Helping early childhood programs reach higher quality tiers in Maryland EXCELS;
  • Providing technical assistance to support the growing population of Dual Language Learners;
  • Creating an inventory of higher education early childhood programs;
  • Investing in family engagement activities; and
  • Providing additional resources to libraries that support children without access to early childhood programs.

To learn more about the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five program, see here.