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Grants to Maryland Local School Systems and Qualified Vendors to Increase Access to Early Childhood Education Programs

Prekindergarten Expansion Grant

GrantWatch ID# 143247
Agency: State

Funding Source
Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) - Division of Early Childhood
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Maryland

Important Dates
Conference Date: 03/29/22
Deadline: 04/08/22 6:00 PM EST

Grant Description
Grants to Maryland local school systems, qualified vendors, and private providers to promote early learning and development. Funding is intended to increase access to early childhood education programs for children from low-income families, children with disabilities or special education needs, and students who are homeless. The purpose of the program is to broaden availability and expand access to high-quality prekindergarten and school readiness services for three-year-old and four-year-old students.

The Prekindergarten Expansion Grant is a competitive grant program administered by the Division of Early Childhood at the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). It provides funding for local education agencies (LEAs) and private providers to administer high-quality prekindergarten. Grant funds must be used to serve three- and four- year-old children from families with income at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines in full-day settings and meet the definition of high-quality prekindergarten programs. Furthermore, the grant extends eligibility to students with disabilities regardless of income and students experiencing homelessness.

Priority will be given to qualified high-quality programs that:

  • Are located in areas of the state that have an unmet need for prekindergarten services;
  • Include a robust plan for long-term sustainability, including community partnerships; and
  • Incorporate parental engagement and educational activities beyond the classroom.

For eligible use of funds, and for required components of proposals, see


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Criteria for Eligibility
This funding opportunity is designed for those who deliver prekindergarten services and are accredited and participate in the Maryland EXCELS program*, including:
- Local Education Agencies (LEAs) or qualified vendors (as defined in COMAR 13A.06.02)
- Private providers who:
(i) Hold a valid license, and
(ii) Have not incurred any serious health or safety violations
- Ulysses Currie Head Start programs.

The MSDE will take measures to achieve geographic diversity among participating providers.

*Priority will be given to programs with the following Maryland EXCELS ratings (in order of priority):
- Published at Level 5 with a plan to maintain this level,
- Published at Level 4 with a plan to publish at Level 5 by the end of the grant period, or
- Published at Level 3 with a plan approved by the MSDE to achieve Level 5 within five years. A plan must be included as part of the application.

Funds may not be used for:
- Supplanting existing services.
- Capital Improvements.
- Cost(s) incurred prior to the approval of the grant.

Pre-Proposal Conference
The MSDE will hold several customer service support sessions for interested applicants. During these sessions, MSDE personnel will provide an overview of the program, the requirements, and the proposal.
- Feb 18, 2022 from 1-2pm, overview of the application for participation
- Feb 23, 2022 from 1-2pm, overview of the application for participation
- Mar 1, 2022 from 1-2pm, overview of the scoring guide
- Mar 7, 2022 from 1-2pm, overview of the scoring guide

The MSDE will also hold several tailored customer service office hours for interested private provider applicants. During these sessions, MSDE personnel will be available to answer questions about the grants.
- Feb 17, 2022 from 1-2pm
- Feb 25, 2022 from 1-2pm
- Mar 9, 2022 from 1-2pm
- Mar 16, 2022 from 1-2pm
- Mar 29, 2022 from 1-2pm

The MSDE will also hold several tailored customer service office hours for interested local education agency applicants. During these sessions, MSDE personnel will be available to answer questions about the grants.
- Feb 16, 2022 from 11-12pm
- Feb 18, 2022 from 11-12pm

To register for a virtual session, office hour, or Q & A session:

Pre-Application Information
- Feb 15, 2022 The grant application period opens.
- Apr 8, 2022 The grant application closes. Applications must be submitted no later than 6:00 pm EST.
- Apr 4, 2022 The MSDE begins reviewing applications for eligibility and completeness.
- May 2, 2022 The MSDE will notify applicants of their award status.
- Jul 1, 2022 The grant period begins.
- Aug 2022 Program implementation begins.
- Jul 2022 The MSDE will begin to create Notice of Grant Awards (NOGAs) and send to grantees.
- Sep 2022 Process grantee payments for those who requested a 15% advance.
- Jun 30, 2023 The grant period ends.

Notification of awards will be sent by email in the spring. Processing of the official Notice of Grant Awards (NOGA) will begin on July 1st; this process can take 6-8 weeks.

Beginning in 2022-2023, applicants must submit a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the MSDE, the LEA, and the private provider(s). Local education agencies and private providers are expected to collaborate on a plan. An MOU signed by the MSDE, the local education agency and any eligible private providers granted funds is due to the Program Manager no later than July 1, 2022. The MSDE will provide the MOU that must be signed.

- All grant requirements must be met prior to the start of the school year, including the certification requirements for lead teacher, to avoid a disruption in grant funds.
- Lead teacher for full-day prekindergarten classrooms must be hired by July 1, 2022 in order to avoid a disruption in grant funds.

For LEA applicants, local general education and special education leadership are strongly encouraged to collaborate on the development of the grant proposal.

PreK Technical Assistance Webinar I recording:

PreK Technical Assistance Webinar III recording:

For additional resources, see

Number of Grants

Estimated Size of Grant
Estimated Average Grant Amount: $400,000

Funding Per Prekindergarten Student: $13,000 per full-day slot for 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds and up to $13,000 per slot for Ulysses Currie Head Start program applicants.

Term of Contract
Grant Period: July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023
Period of Operation: August 2022 – June 2023 (school year 2022-2023)

Contact Information
Applications must be submitted by email to

For questions, please contact:
Nykia Washington
Prekindergarten Program Manager
Division of Early Childhood

Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21211

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