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Teacher Stacy Hotaling works with her preschool students at the David C. Douglass Veterans Memorial School in Lower Township on Tuesday. Hotaling is one of several new teachers the district hired this year for its expanded preschool program.

TRENTON — Through a $10.6 million federal grant, New Jersey hopes to improve coordination and collaboration between state and local childcare resources and early childhood education programs, the governor said Tuesday.

“New Jersey’s children deserve access to the highest-quality education possible, regardless of location or socioeconomic status,” said Gov. Phil Murphy in a release. “The NJ Preschool Development Collaboration will foster critical educational opportunities and provide children and educators with the opportunity to work together to ensure that our children receive the tools they need to achieve their greatest potential.”

The New Jersey Preschool Development Collaboration is funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

As of December, 45 states and territories were awarded funding from the Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five.

The collaboration will conduct a periodic needs assessment of the availability and quality of existing early childhood education programs and develop a plan to improve coordination and ease transitions for students, according to the Governor’s Office.

The state program will also begin developing and implementing leading and evidence-based practices in educational opportunities for children and professional development for early childhood education providers, although the state did not go into more detail about what those practices were.

In addition, the program will focus on maximizing parental choice, knowledge and involvement in early childhood education for family members, particularly in underserved populations that have historically experienced disparity in access and availability to high-quality programs.

Contact: 609-272-7251 CLowe@pressofac.com Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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