Nevada Department of EducationNevada Department of Education

    Governor Lombardo and State Superintendent Ebert Announce First Round of Awardees Granting $23 Million in Funding for Early Childhood Education Programs

    September 13, 2023

    CARSON CITY, Nev. - The Nevada Department of Education is pleased to announce the first round of Early Childhood Innovative Literacy Program grant awardees. Just over $23 million is being awarded in this round to fund initiatives aimed at advancing early childhood education and literacy across the state.  

    "The future of our state is built upon the quality of education we provide to our children. This grant reflects our unwavering dedication to equipping our youngest learners with the tools they need to succeed," said Governor Joe Lombardo. "By fostering innovative approaches to early literacy, we are shaping not only their educational journey but also the trajectory of Nevada's future." 

    "The Nevada Department of Education strategically creates a robust educational ecosystem that supports lifelong learning," said State Superintendent Jhone Ebert. "We are committed to fostering innovative strategies and literacy programs for our youngest learners." 

    The Early Childhood Innovative Literacy Program Grant distributes funds through a competitive grant application process. The grant offers two areas of opportunity for applicants to secure funding: 

    Opportunity Area #1: This opportunity is centered around expanding access to high-quality preschool education. It is open to both new and existing Nevada Ready! State Pre-Kindergarten (NR!PK) providers. Through this avenue, the Nevada Department of Education is excited to announce the funding of 8 applications. These funded initiatives will collectively introduce 665 new pre-K seats. This includes seats for 3-year-old students, a first for the NR!PK program. This is a huge step forward for the Nevada Ready! State Pre-K program, as it has not previously served three-year-old students. 

    Opportunity Area #2: This opportunity is focused on driving innovative programs and expanding existing early literacy programs that support children under the age of six, their families, and early childhood professionals. A total of 14 projects are being funded, each demonstrating a profound commitment to enriching the learning experiences of Nevada's youngest citizens.  

    Some of the projects funded in Opportunity Area #2:  

    • Rural Classroom on Wheels (COW) Bus Expansion: This project will broaden the reach of the COW bus program, delivering essential literacy support to rural communities. 

    • Infant/Toddler Family Engagement Program: This program enhances early learning experiences for infants and toddlers in Clark County by providing support to families, including information on child development and developmental milestones, activities for parents to engage with their infants and toddlers, and more. 

    • Kindergarten Assistants: Several projects fund the hiring of paraprofessionals for kindergarten classrooms. 

    A second round of funding will open to applicants on Monday, September 18th with over $40 million dollars available. Applicants who applied in Round 1, but were not funded, may apply in Round 2. 

    For more information and to access the grant application materials please visit the Nevada Department of Education's Grants Webpage here.

    Media Availability 

    Nevada Department of Education staff are available to be interviewed. NDE can also put members of the media in touch with grantees in both northern and southern Nevada for visuals and interview opportunities.   


    About the Nevada Department of Education 

    The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) leads and collaborates with Nevada's 17 school districts and the State Public Charter School Authority to advance educational equity Statewide. With offices in Carson City and Las Vegas, NDE oversees all pre-K-12 education in the State, working to achieve its mission to improve student achievement and educator effectiveness by ensuring opportunities, facilitating learning, and promoting excellence. Under the leadership of the State Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction, NDE impacts the achievement of nearly half a million children and 30,000 educators. Learn more at and join us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram


    Elizabeth Callahan
    Public Information Officer