PreK Grant Opportunity Funding for New PreK Programs

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has a limited funding opportunity for School Administrative Units (SAU) interested in establishing a new PreK program in 2017-18. The Maine DOE has funding for up to five PreK Grants ranging from $22,000 to $52,000 a classroom. The purpose of the PreK grant is to expand high-quality PreK to children from families with moderate incomes.

The PreK Grant funding is not intended to fully fund the PreK program; there is a requirement for all subgrantees to provide at least a 60% local match to the federal funds. The grant’s funding level, combined with the SAUs local contribution, will ensure high quality PreK program standards and grant expectations are met and that the PreK program is sustainable after the grant closeout in December 2018. The PreK grants awarded in 2017-18 will continue, contingent on federal funding, through December 2018. This funding opportunity is part of the Maine DOE’s PreK Expansion Grant received in 2015. The grant’s absolute priority is to expand access to high-quality PreK to children with mid-range or lower incomes.

In grant year 1, the 2017-18 school year, the PreK grant could fund materials, equipment, furnishings and a portion of one year of operation of a pre-K program. SAUs must provide supplemental funding of 60% match. In grant year 2, 2018-19, funding will be provided through December 2018 and can cover a portion of the SAUs PreK program operating expenses.

Basic Requirements:

  • The PreK grant funds can be used to aid SAUs in starting a new PreK Program.
  • SAUs applying for grant funding must have at least a 50% district-wide free/reduced (F/R) lunch rate. FRL is 185% of Federal Poverty Level.
  • Priority enrollment must be given to children from families at 200% Federal Poverty Level and below.
  • The proposed PreK program must meet all public PreK program standards as required by the Maine Department of Education rules, Code of Maine Regulations (05-071 CMR Chapter.124.) Maine DOE Chapter 124.
  • SAUs must match federal funds – minimum of 60%.
  • Provide full day programming – 6 hours daily
  • Comprehensive Services offered to all families
  • Administer Kindergarten Entry Assessment as directed by Maine DOE’s PreK Grant.
  • Funding level a maximum $4,500 per eligible child + targeted funds for grant requirements. Only eligible children can be funded

The application deadline is April 30, 2017. PreK grant awards will be made by May 12, 2017.

For more information, contact Maine DOE PreK grant manager, Deb Lajoie at or call 207-624-6613