Congratulations Race to the Top Winners!

Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin will each receive a 2012 Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant to improve quality and expand access to early learning programs. Awards to the five states range from $21 million to $35 million.

Through the competition, 35 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico have created detailed plans to increase access to high-quality programs for children from low-income families, providing more children from birth to age 5 with a strong foundation for success in school and beyond. The number and list of winners was determined by the quality of the applications.

The Obama Administration challenged states to improve early learning by coordinating existing programs, evaluating program quality, and increasing high-quality programs, particularly for the neediest children.

First year funding in 2011 attracted 37 applicants when nine states shared $500 million: California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington.

Grants will be used over a 4-year period.

View the ED.gov press release announcing the 2012 Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Fund winners.