Through this grant opportunity, the Collaborative sought to elevate the ECE workforce and break down systemic barriers to higher education, particularly for early educators of color. People of color, primarily women, make up nearly half of the ECE workforce and yet are not provided equal access to higher education, ongoing professional development, or professional compensation.

The Collaborative invited institutions to develop ideas for transforming early educator preparation programs across the continuum of educator preparation, including not but limited to:

  • Recruitment and retention of racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse students;
  • Curricula informed by recent developmental science of child development and adult learning, and that are culturally responsive in nature;
  • High-quality, clinically based practicum experience across a variety of ECE settings;
  • Induction supports provided in the early years of teaching;
  • Financial supports for educators to access and complete a higher education program, including paid release time; and
  • A proposed or piloted strategy to increase financial assistance, remuneration, and compensation across an individual’s educational and career pathway as a student and teacher.

The Collaborative sought to prioritize applicants that demonstrated they are meaningfully serving students who bring racial, ethnic, linguistic, or socioeconomic diversity to the field, and that they are preparing educators to serve an equally diverse student population. This includes prioritizing lead applicant IHEs that are MSIs. The Collaborative also prioritized applicants who partnered with two-year, community college IHEs or whose proposed approach included a detailed and viable plan for doing so.

Transforming ECE Lead Teacher Preparation Programs Grant Opportunity: Applicant Overview


For the March 2020 submission deadline for letters of intent (LOIs) for this opportunity, the Collaborative received 51 LOIs from more than 35 states, territories, and Tribal Nations. This far exceeded our expectations and demonstrated a strong desire for transforming early educator preparation across the country. From this initial applicant pool, the Collaborative worked with an external review committee and invited 29 applicants to submit full proposals, based on the assessment criteria outlined in the call for LOIs. Nearly half of the applicants advancing to the proposal phase have lead applicant IHEs that are minority-serving institutions (MSIs), many of whom serve multiple student populations. MSIs advancing to the proposal stage include:

  • Alaska Native-Serving and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions
  • Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions
  • Hispanic-Serving Institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Native American-Serving Non-Tribal Institutions
  • Predominantly Black Institutions
  • Tribal Colleges and Universities

More information about the applicants who submitted LOIs and the applicants advancing to the proposal phase is depicted in the corresponding infographic.

Funding Timeline

The Collaborative set a September 2020 proposal submission deadline and notified selected grantees in December 2020.

The Collaborative thanks all applicants for their time and effort in developing applications in both the LOI and full application stages.

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