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Research shows that high-quality early childhood education produces substantial long-term educational, social, and economic benefits with the largest benefits for children occurring when teachers are professionally prepared and adequately compensated.

Furthermore, the knowledge and skills required of an effective early education teacher has increased as science has revealed more about the capabilities of young children, how they learn best, and the importance of early learning for later school success. Therefore it is essential that a core component of Rhode Island’s efforts to build a high quality early learning system is a highly qualified workforce with access to a high quality professional development system.

NEW! Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Educator Pathway Planning Grants

Aligned with the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Strategic Plan for Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) seeks to ensure the incumbent workforce of early childhood educators has accessible, high-quality, and meaningful pathways toward credential attainment and career advancement.

The Educator Pathway Planning Grants are intended to fuel the initial planning and development stages of education preparation programs that will serve the unique needs of the current ECCE workforce. The Rhode Island Department of Education will award $5,000 planning grants on a competitive basis to Institutes of Higher Education (IHEs) to support the development of a proposal for a Bachelors with Pre-K-2 certificationandPost-Baccalaureate Pre-K-2 certification pathway for the incumbent workforce.

Planning grant awardees are to submit a deliverable in the form of a proposal for the aforementioned pathways at the end of the Planning Grant term, which will serve as an application for the “Design Grant” which will support one institution with the robust development, program approval, and implementation of the pathways.

All relevant information pertaining to this solicitation, the deliverables needed for submission, and the submission instructions may be found below:

Timeline and Important Dates for the Planning Grant Application Process

  • May 7, 2021: ECCE Educator Pathway Planning Grant Application posted
  • May 17, 2021: Questions regarding the applications are due to RIPre-K@ride.ri.gov by 4:00 PM.
  • May 21, 2021: Questions and answers posted on the RIDE website.
  • June 4, 2021: Planning grant applications due to RIPre-K@ride.ri.gov by 4:00 PM
  • Mid-June, 2021: Notification of Planning Grant award winners


Please send questions in a Microsoft Word format and reference “ECCE Pathway Planning Grants” in the subject line to RIPre-K@ride.ri.gov by 4:00 PM on Monday, May 17, 2021. Any questions received will be posted and answered on the RIDE website as an addendum to this solicitation by Wednesday, May 19, 2021.