ECE Grants

Preschool Development Grant Birth-Five

(view the project overview)

(view the grant proposal)

Texas was awarded a Preschool Development Grant Birth – Five from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education. The Texas Education Agency will lead the project with support from six other agencies, including the Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Texas Department of State Health Service, Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office, Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Workforce Commission.

Texas was awarded $1,789,455.00 for the initial one-year grant, which was 71% of its requested federal funds. In addition to the federal funds awarded, Texas is required to provide a 30% state match. Matching funds are comprised of both in-kind matches from state agencies and stakeholder organizations and direct funds from philanthropic organizations. This results in a project total of $2,326,929.00.

The grant requires states to complete five activities: (1) Conduct a statewide birth-five needs assessment; (2) Develop a statewide birth-five strategic plan; (3) Maximize parental choice and knowledge; (4) Share best practices among early childhood providers; (5) Improve overall quality of early childhood programs and services. States cannot begin activity five until the needs assessment and strategic plans have been completed and approved by the federal government.

Through this grant opportunity, Texas will carry out several projects focused on fulfilling Texas’ vision for its early childhood system: Thriving children in strong Texas families empowered by state and local systems. The various projects will provide many opportunities for stakeholders and communities to be involved in state and local systems change. A complete summary of all grant projects is coming soon.


ECDataWorks provides innovative opportunities for collaborating states to improve the delivery and use of their early childhood data among state policymakers and practitioners. The ECDataWorks project team works directly with state professionals in a collaborative, outcomes-driven manner to conceptualize and develop tools to facilitate the organization, delivery, and strategic use of existing early childhood data. Texas was awarded a multi-year project supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) in collaboration with leading experts in the field.

Texas’ ECDataWorks Project Goal

Texas will work with ECDataWorks to design a new analytic tool on quality and school readiness to support education service centers (ESCs), local education agencies (LEAs), and local workforce development boards (LWDBs) to improve program quality. Learn more about ECDataWorks.

Texas School Ready

Texas School Ready (TSR!) is a high-quality early childhood model, based on proven school readiness components including:

  • High-quality, developmentally appropriate and rigorous curriculum;
  • Continuous student progress monitoring;
  • Professional development for teachers, including mentoring; and
  • Creation and implementation of a School Readiness Integration Partnership to coordinate services among school districts, child care providers, and Head Start programs.

The program is administered by the Children's Learning Institute at the UT Heath Science Center at Houston (UTHSC), Children's Learning Institute (CLI). 

Authorization for Texas School Ready comes from the 85th Texas Legislative Session, General Appropriations Act (GAA), Article III, Rider 45, and Article VII, Rider 27.
A resource is Children’s Learning Institute. (outside source)


Professional Development Partnerships for ECE 

This program facilitates participation in high-quality professional development opportunities for early childhood education professionals seeking completion of a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, or a Child Development Associate (CDA). To create a high-quality workforce, this program is geared towards improving the quality of teacher preparation programs.

The grant program is competitive and administered by the UTHSC, CLI.

Authorization for Improving Teacher Preparation is provided by the General Appropriations Act (GAA), Article VII, Rider 25, 85th Texas Legislature, 2015.


Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment

The U.S. Department of Education awarded the TEA an Enhanced Assessment Grant in 2013 to develop and implement a criterion-referenced, kindergarten entry assessment.  The Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment (TX-KEA) is used to determine if students meet specified academic standards and development levels. This point-in-time snapshot of each student’s knowledge and abilities informs instruction and identifies if additional instruction or diagnostic testing is needed.

The TEA has contracted with the UTHSC and CLI to administer the project.

Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment (TX-KEA) (outside source) may provide additional information about the assessment. 




Contact Information

Texas Education Agency
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701-1401