Race To The Top: The Early Learning (ELC) Challenge

ZERO TO THREE has developed a number of resources related to the ELC, including a toolkit outlining how states can use the ELC to benefit infants and toddlers and articles detailing how each round of ELC grantees’ are targeting very young children. A new article analyzing the most recent grantees’ applications was released June 2014.

The Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (ELC) grant program is a joint effort by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to improve early learning and development for young children. It does so by supporting states’ efforts to: increase the number of children with high needs, birth to 5 years old, in high-quality early childhood settings; and build comprehensive early childhood systems.

Twenty states have received 4-year ELC grants ranging from $20 to $70 million since the program was initiated in 2011. Although grantees have not dedicated significant portions of their ELC grants to initiatives targeting infants and toddlers specifically, their efforts to strengthen the systems that support all young children and families have the potential to improve outcomes for babies if their needs are intentionally addressed.

Explore all of the resources ZERO TO THREE has developed related to the ELC below.

Meeting the Challenge Articles

These articles, released in June 2014, discuss how the most recent ELC grantees (Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont) are targeting infants and toddlers. The full report and shorter companion pieces examine each of the six main strategies the programs target.


Additional Articles