Pre-Kindergarten Expansion Grants (2021-2024)

Grant Funds from Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan to Support Expansion of Public Pre-K

The first years of life are a critical developmental time in forming the basis for learning and social interaction. Investments in early learning have powerful long-term paybacks. The pandemic heightened the difficulty that many Maine parents/caregivers already faced in struggling to locate pre-kindergarten or child care. Access gaps are especially acute in Maine’s rural communities. The Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan has committed $10 million dollars to address these access gaps.
Maine’s Department of Education will help schools increase the number of children accessing high-quality pre-kindergarten by offering funds to establish or expand public pre-k programs. Through multiple competitive grant rounds, the Department will provide funding to local school administrative units to cover facility renovations, staff recruitment and training, and other start-up costs linked to establishing new public pre-kindergarten programs, expanding to additional classrooms, or transitioning from part-day/part-week to full-day/full-week. Priority will be given to schools that partner with community programs such Head Start or child care, provide longer duration of education, and serve socioeconomically disadvantaged students. The Department will also provide technical assistance and professional learning to school administrative units for prekindergarten expansion.


2nd Round of Grant Funds Available to Support Expansion of Public Pre-K

The Maine DOE is excited to announce another round of public pre-k expansion funding for school year 2023-24. Maine SAUs interested in starting or expanding public pre-k are encouraged to apply for funding through the Pre-K Expansion Request for Applications (RFA).SAUs will be able to use the funding, in combination with Essential Programs and Services allocations, to start new pre-k programs and/or expand existing programs from part-day/part-week to full-day/full-week programs. Funding may also support public pre-k programming through partnerships between SAUs and community providers.

A timeline for the RFA process is provided below.    Pre-K

  • August 5, 2022–RFA released
  • August 23, 2022–Informational session for interested parties, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Recorded session is now available
  • September 22, 2022-RFA question submittal deadline
  • September 30, 2022—RFA answers to questions posted publicly
  • October 13, 2022—RFA submission deadline

An informational meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, August 23 from 10 am-12 pm. Those wishing to learn more about the Pre-K Expansion RFA and ask questions may attend through this link. This meeting will be recorded and made available on our Early Childhood Professional Learning and Resources page.

For the 12 SAUs previously awarded grants in the first round, there will be a separate opportunity to apply for additional funding to support current projects later in fall of 2022 or winter of 2023.

All questions about the Pre-K Expansion RFA should be submitted to the Pre-K Expansion Grant Coordinator identified on the Grant RFPs and RFAs webpage.

Additional questions regarding this announcement should be directed to Pre-K RFA Coordinator

First Round of Grant Funds Dispersed to Support Expansion of Public Pre-K

An initial application round to start or expand programs for the 2022-2023 school year closed November 4, 2021 and award notifications were made in December 2021. A list of Awardees can be seen below.


Pre-K Expansion Grants Awardees

FY 2022-23 School Year


 Award Amount

Appleton School Department


Bangor School Department


Greenville School Department


Limestone School Department


RSU 22


RSU 24


Sanford School Department


St. George School Department


Vassalboro School Department


Yarmouth School Department