January 2017 eNews – Race to the Top grants complete, Winter care for outdoor play spaces, Infant/toddler corner, & Building a better business

Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Facility Grants are Complete!

With funds made available through the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, we were able to award a total of $2,325,324 in small grants to 84 early learning centers operated by 59 non-profit organizations, for-profit businesses and public schools all across Rhode Island. Some highlights from these projects include:

  • Funding coupled with RICCELFF technical assistance enabled 20 centers to correct DCYF licensing variance issues.
  • A total of 114 individual projects were funded, these included indoor and outdoor space projects, focused on both planning and minor construction such as; adding natural light to spaces, improving building security and egress, reconfiguring group sizes and addressing health and safety issues, particularly in outdoor spaces.
  • 71 centers received funding and support to have playground safety inspections conducted by certified inspectors, helping to identify and correct potential hazards to children. The funding also supported the development of comprehensive designs that not only addressed safety concerns but also resulted in concrete plans for developing appropriate and engaging outdoor spaces.
  • Improvements made to facilities through the RTTT-ELC Facility Grant program benefitted over 7,200 children (63% high needs) in 28 cities and towns across Rhode Island.
  • The facility grants benefitted centers at all different quality levels.
  • There were 17 centers that increased their BrightStars rating by 1 star and 3 centers that increased by 2 stars during this time frame.

In addition to all of the great outcomes for early learning centers, we were excited to see the dollars spent through the facility grants going back into Rhode Island’s economy. There were 58 different licensed contractors and 22 professional design firms hired for grant-funded jobs through this program, some of whom gained new skills and experience working within the requirements of federally funded projects.

We are so excited to have been a part of so many facility improvements throughout the state! Stay tuned as we highlight some of these projects over the next few months.

In This Issue
  • News from the RICCELFF Team: Anne Connery has Retired!
  • What’s New in Health and Safety – Winter Care for your Outdoor Play Space
  • Infant/Toddler Corner
  • Building a Better Business
  • News from National LISC: The Best Way to Score a Touchdown in Communities? Show Up for the Game.


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