DESE Awarded $4 Million Preschool Development Birth Through Age Five Planning Grant


The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announced today that Missouri has been awarded a one-year, $4 million Preschool Development Birth Through Age Five Planning Grant (PDG B-5) from the federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF). The funding will support planning and capacity-building activities across the early childhood system to achieve the goals in the Strategic Vision & Roadmap for 2026, which is being implemented by DESE’s Office of Childhood. This new planning grant allows Missouri to conduct additional activities to coordinate childhood services for families and supports for childhood professionals.

This new funding follows Missouri’s previous awards for Preschool Development Grant funding. In January 2019, Missouri won a one-year, $6.5 million PDG B-5 planning grant that helped coordinate needs assessment and strategic planning activities. Later in December 2019, Missouri was awarded a three-year, $33.5 million PDG B-5 Renewal grant that allowed the state to create the Office of Childhood in 2021 to better coordinate the state’s early childhood services for families and early learning professionals.  

“This grant is an important opportunity to continue to build the childhood infrastructure that will improve access to, and the quality of, programs and services for families and young children,” said Pam Thomas, Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Childhood. “With these funds we will be able to better support local efforts to coordinate enrollment into childhood programs, enhance the information available to the public through an integrated data system, increase our support for quality programs, and offer retention grants to home visitors, all of which are key strategies in the Office of Childhood’s roadmap for 2026.”

States that received PDG B-5 funds previously were eligible to apply for this competitive grant funding; however, only 10 states received rewards, and Missouri was selected as one of the states.

Read more about the grant applications and activities on the DESE PDG B-5 webpage.