BUILDing Strong Foundations

Early Learning Challenge: A Step Toward Achieving Dr. King's 'Dream'

8/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
Posted by: BUILD Initiative

Susan Hibbard, Deputy Director, BUILD InitiativeSusan Hibbard, Deputy Director
BUILD Initiative

On the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, it is fitting that the federal government released the final guidelines for the third round of the Early Learning Challenge (ELC).

Only when every state has the financial capacity, commitment, and sound plan to support each and every child to develop his/her potential will our dream of closing the achievement gap come true. Just as Dr. King reminded us that 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation “..the Negro still is not free.” So too, almost 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, education in this country – and early education in particular – is still not equal or equally accessible. 

This federal commitment to the very youngest children, and those with the highest need, is another step in the process of “cashing a check,” the “promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.” Early Learning Challenge (Rounds 1, 2, and now Round 3) is part of the movement toward all children claiming their inalienable rights to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Early Learning Challenge Collaborative (ELCC) stands ready to assist every state that will march ahead for its children in Round 3 and the many more rounds that we hope will follow. 

Visit the ELCC website for more on Round 3 of the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge.


ELCC is a partnership between BUILD and the First Five Years Fund. The collaborative, funded by private foundation dollars, is working with and supporting states as they plan, apply for, and implement the Early Learning Challenge grants.

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1 comment(s) so far...
    • Mar 06 2014, 2:20 PM Daseta Gray
    • I would like some help with the work that I am doing in terms of funding. We do classes for caregivers and their babies to show them how to get their babies ready for school. We also have a parent blog

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