Today the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services announced the nine state winners of the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge competition. Although Michigan did not win part of the $500 million to improve early childhood education and development, our four foundations hope the state will continue to move forward with its vision for early childhood education and work to help children succeed from an early age.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and The Skillman Foundation have all been longtime supporters of Michigan’s early education work and are proud of the state’s application and efforts to improve early childhood education. Michigan had been eligible for $70 million to help the state build coordinated systems of early learning and development and improve the quality of early learning and development programs. The state’s application featured a number of key proposals aimed at providing more children from low-income and vulnerable families access to high-quality early childhood programs, giving children a strong foundation before starting kindergarten. The recent creation of the Office of Great Start – an office in the state Department of Education devoted to early learning – was also a major step forward in expanding and improving early childhood education in Michigan.
Michigan’s application was coordinated by the Early Childhood Investment Corporation. Joan Blough, ECIC's vice president of Great Start planning and evaluation and transition leader for the Michigan Office of Great Start, led the Michigan Application Preparation Team.
We have been proud to work with our fellow funders and stakeholders to develop a comprehensive early childhood system for all children in the region, and we look forward to continuing to work with the state to help give all children a great start.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The Kresge Foundation
Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation
The Skillman Foundation