ATLANTA — Georgia has been awarded a federal grant of more than $11 million to boost the state's early education initiatives, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Thursday.

The grant, which will be spread out over three years, "will allow the state to expand efforts to help families access high quality early childhood services statewide," a release said.

Some of the specific projects that stand to benefit will include Quality Rated, the state's child care program assessment system, which intends to use grant money to establish an early childhood literacy program to be called the Quality Rated Language and Literacy Endorsement. 

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The program, the release said, will "support the acquisition of critical preschool literacy skills."

The grant will also go toward supporting early learning professionals and expanding workforce capacity in the early childhood field, the release said.

"High quality early education is foundational for children and families, and this grant will enable the state to develop and implement innovative strategies to better prepare Georgia’s children for success in school and in life," Gov. Kemp said.

The money comes from the Preschool Development Renewal Grant, a fund managed by the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services. The state had previously won a nearly $3 million grant from the fund in Jan. 2019.

The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning submitted the winning grant proposal and will administer it statewide.

“Receiving this grant validates and supports many of the innovations DECAL and our partners have been working on," the agency's commissioner, Amy M. Jacobs, said. "This additional funding will help strengthen Georgia’s system of early care and education in ways that will directly and substantively benefit families and children in our state.”

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