BUILD Georgia - BUILD States - State and Local - Our Work - BUILD Initiative
Strong Foundations For Our Youngest Children

BUILD Georgia

BUILD State Inception Year


BUILD State Leads

Kristin Bernhard, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, [email protected]
Mindy Binderman, Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS), [email protected]

Early Childhood System

Early Childhood Governance Structure: Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning administers the nationally recognized Georgia’s Pre-K Program, licenses child care centers and home-based child care, administers federal nutrition programs, and manages voluntary quality enhancement programs. Georgia was the first state to create a cabinet-level early childhood department which consolidates much of the funding and programs for early childhood into one department.

BUILD 2015 Areas of Focus

  • Birth-Three Coordination: Assist Georgia’s leaders in mapping and creating an integrated, coordinated system of systems for children birth-three.
  • Family Engagement: Support the work of Georgia’s Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Grant Family Engagement Task Force. 
  • Child Care Subsidy: Assist Georgia’s child care subsidy leadership in making recommendations to implement and sustain reduced parent co-pays and classroom grant subsidy contracts.

Federal Grants

  • Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Grant - $51,739,896 (Phase 3)
  • Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership State Grant - No state grant was received. $16,200,000 in annual grants were received by eight community-based organizations in Georgia.
  • Project LAUNCH Grant (2014)
  • MIECHV Grant - $9,310,630 competitive grant and $1,000,000 formula grant (FY 2015)

Local/Regional Collaboratives: Under the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Grant, Georgia has developed four Early Education Empowerment Zones to pilot innovative strategies at the community level to support early childhood systems-building efforts that align with state-level goals.

State Government Leadership

  • Governor Nathan Deal (R)
  • State Legislature: House and Senate (both Republican controlled)