Priority Notice: 2nd Round of Grant Funds Available to Support the Expansion of Public Pre-K

August 5, 2022

As part of the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, Governor Mills allocated $10 million of the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds appropriated for Maine for public pre-k infrastructure to increase the number of 4-year-olds enrolled in public pre-k across the state. For the 2022-23 school year, 12 SAUs were awarded funding to expand or start new pre-k programs.

The Maine DOE is excited to announce another round of public pre-k expansion funding for school year 2023-24.

Currently, public pre-k in Maine is not universally available for all 4-year-olds. While the cognitive and social-emotional benefits of high-quality pre-k are well documented, there are a variety of factors that contribute to the ability of School Administrative Units (SAUs) to offer public pre-k and the extent to which they can enroll all eligible 4-year-olds from interested families. This funding will help expand pre-k opportunities across Maine.

Maine SAUs interested in starting or expanding public pre-k are encouraged to apply for funding through the Pre-K Expansion Request for Applications (RFA). SAUs will be able to use the funding, in combination with Essential Programs and Services allocations, to start new pre-k programs and/or expand existing programs from part-day/part-week to full-day/full-week programs. Funding may also support public pre-k programming through partnerships between SAUs and community providers.

A timeline for the RFA process is provided below.

  • August 5, 2022–RFA released
  • August 23, 2023–Informational session for interested parties, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • September 22, 2022-RFA question submittal deadline
  • September 30, 2022—RFA answers to questions posted publicly
  • October 13, 2022—RFA submission deadline

An informational meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, August 23 from 10 am-12 pm. Those wishing to learn more about the Pre-K Expansion RFA and ask questions may attend through this link. This meeting will be recorded and made available on our Early Childhood Professional Learning and Resources page.

For the 12 SAUs previously awarded grants in the first round, there will be a separate opportunity to apply for additional funding to support current projects later in fall of 2022 or winter of 2023.

All questions about the Pre-K Expansion RFA should be submitted to the Pre-K Expansion Grant Coordinator identified on the Grant RFPs and RFAs webpage.

Additional questions regarding this announcement should be directed to Pre-K RFA Coordinator jane.kirsling@maine.gov.

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