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Texas Wins Nationwide Grant Competition Aimed at Expanding High-Quality Prenatal-to-Age-Three Services to Texas Infants and Toddlers and Their Families

Texas Wins Nationwide Grant Competition Aimed at Expanding High-Quality Prenatal-to-Age-Three Services to Texas Infants and Toddlers and Their Families

Lee Nichols, TexProtects

Austin – Today the Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI) announced it is awarding a planning grant to strengthen high-quality prenatal-to-age-three services in Texas to a statewide collaboration led by the non-profit policy organizations TexProtects, Texans Care for Children, and Children at Risk and early childhood leader Libby Doggett. The Pritzker Children’s Initiative opened the nationwide grant competition to identify states poised to craft and implement a strategic vision for supporting infants, toddlers and their families. The states named in today’s announcement include: Arkansas, District of Columbia, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

“With over 1.7 million babies and toddlers in Texas, we appreciate this incredible opportunity to engage and join communities and Texas leaders in a collaborative effort to expand effective prenatal-to-three services in Texas. This grant will allow us to strengthen and align with existing efforts underway to support babies and toddlers in nine diverse cities across Texas while building our statewide strategy,” said Sophie Phillips, CEO of TexProtects.

Texas will receive $100,000 to establish a coalition of state- and community-level partners inside and outside government to develop an ambitious prenatal-to-age-three policy agenda and action plan focused on expanding access to high-quality programs designed to support children’s healthy development and build a strong foundation for future learning. These Planning Grant recipients will also be eligible for Implementation Grants based on the quality of the plan they develop over the next six to nine months.

“With research showing that a child’s brain develops faster in the first three years than at any later period in life, Texas needs a clear vision for ensuring all children start life with a strong foundation,” said Mandi Kimball, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at Children at Risk.

Stephanie Rubin, CEO of Texans Care for Children, noted, “With strong supporters of early childhood in the Texas Capitol and a newly formed Texas Early Learning Council, our state is poised to significantly move the needle on investments in young children that set them on a path to good health and success in school and life.”

High-quality early childhood development programs provide a high return on investment and can reduce chronic disease and health care costs, and their benefits include better education outcomes and economic opportunities. “Texas submitted a bold proposal that brings diverse leaders to the table to coordinate across fields and establish a unified policy agenda and action plan supporting infants, toddlers and their families,” said Gerry Cobb, director of the Pritzker Children’s Initiative. To ensure the innovations, policies and best practices developed in state coalitions are shared and effectively implemented, grant winners will also join the PCI-funded National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers (NCIT). Through critical community-based approaches and a shared commitment to the healthy development of our youngest children, NCIT can invest deeper in state and local programs and policies across the country.

About the Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI)
The Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI), a project of the J.B. and M. K. Pritzker Family Foundation, is committed to building a promising future for our country by investing in and supporting solutions in early childhood development for children prenatal to age three, with the goal of every child reaching kindergarten ready to learn. More information about PCI can be found here.

Posted on April 15, 2019.

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