Welcome to Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood LogoThe mission of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) unit is to provide leadership and support to schools, organizations, educators, families and communities in implementing programs that assist all children from birth through age 8 to become successful lifelong learners.  The ECE unit administers the Head Start State Collaboration grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services to establish linkages among Head Start, childcare, social welfare, health and state funded preschool programs, and K-12 Education.

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Arizona Preschool Development Grant Program: Year 3

In 2014, Arizona received a federal Preschool Development Grant (PDG) for 20 million dollars annually for up to 4 years totaling 80 million dollars during the development phase. Through the PDG program, preschool programs throughout Arizona are providing 4-year-olds from low to moderate income households with an opportunity to attend high-quality preschool at no cost to eligible families. While in the first and second years of the grant the PDG was only available to populations within specific High Needs Communities (HNC), all preschool programs through Arizona are eligible to apply to participate in the third year of the grant.  As the ADE Early Childhood Education Unit prepares to implement the third year of the grant, an informational webinar has been recorded to provide those interested in applying with insight into the expectations and requirements for participation. To learn more about Arizona’s PDG program, visit Preschool Development Grant – CFDA 84.419.

*If you are interested in applying for Year 3 of the Arizona PDG, please watch the webinar and complete the proposal. Submit completed proposals to [email protected] no later than Monday, March 6, 2017 by 5:00pm. 


The Kindergarten Experience: Professional Development Trainings

A professional development pilot entitled The Kindergarten Project was created in 2013 to prepare teachers and administrators for the implementation of the Kindergarten Developmental Inventory (KDI).  In the spring of 2015, The Kindergarten Experience was launched with a Social and Emotional Development in Kindergarten conference. The Kindergarten Experience, an extension of The Kindergarten Project, is a series of dynamic professional development trainings, workshops and opportunities that offer a comprehensive lens for evidence-based practices that support the whole child in kindergarten.  To learn how to attend The Kindergarten Experience and to learn more about the KDI, click HERE

2015 Arizona School Readiness Framework (ASRF)

asrfIn seeking a common definition for school readiness, Arizona has adopted a comprehensive approach to describing what readiness looks like for young children entering kindergarten.  The definition of school readiness used in the ASRF emphasizes both the knowledge and attributes children need in order to attend to rigorous curriculum presented in the classroom.  To view the ASRF, click HERE.


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Gold Checkpoints for FY16-17:  Oct. 21, 2016; Feb. 10, 2017; June 2, 2017, July 31, 2017

FY 17 – IDEA Preschool Grant Allocations – CFDA 84.173A

To view the FY 17 –  IDEA Preschool Grant Allocations, click HERE

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 Professional Development Opportunities 


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