Of special interest to our partners doing work with birth to third-grade efforts, the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development recently released the following information about a local funding opportunity.

Dear Early Childhood Community,

The U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services have announced a new funding opportunity to support Preschool Pay for Success Feasibility Pilots. Pay for Success projects use funds from investors to support operation of a project, such as an early learning program, with a goal of improving outcomes for participants and reducing the cost of future services provided by the government in the short or long term. If the project is successful, a portion of these savings are repaid to the investors as outcome payments. In Illinois, the City of Chicago recently implemented a Pay for Success project to increase the number of children served by the Child-Parent Center model, with a goal of reducing the need for special education services and increasing kindergarten readiness and third-grade literacy.

Through this funding opportunity, state and local governments will conduct feasibility studies to determine if a Pay for Success project is a viable option for preschool financing in identified communities. The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) does not intend to apply for this opportunity, but does encourage local applicants, such as city governments, school districts, Regional Offices of Education or other appropriate local units of government to apply on behalf of their communities.  In addition, GOECD is interested in hearing about potential applicants from Illinois to promote coordination and, where possible, offer resources and support. As a maximum of 14 awards will be available nationally, this approach will ensure that Illinois presents a unified approach in pursuing this opportunity.

A copy of the notice inviting applications, including the background and eligibility information, is available on the Federal Register here. Potential applicants must submit a notice of intent to apply by September 12, 2016. Completed applications are due no later than October 6, 2016.

Please contact Bryan Stokes II, Preschool Expansion Policy Director at bryan.stokes@illinois.gov if your community plans to apply for this opportunity.

Thank you,

The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development