School Readiness Grant Initiative Act

What is the School Readiness Grant Initiative Act?

The School Readiness Initiative Act establishes the Utah School Readiness Board (the Board) and the following grants: 1)

Becoming High-Quality, Expanded Student Access, and 3) Results-Based Contracts (Pay For Success). The Utah School Readiness Initiative supports programs that increase school readiness, improve academic performance, and reduce remediation costs associated with poor academic outcomes. The Expanded Student Access Grant is defined by the Utah School Readiness Initiative Utah Code §35A-15-302.

The Initiative consists of three components and is governed by the Utah School Readiness Board:

  1. Becoming Quality grants to support preschool programs seeking to improve quality;
  2. Expanded Student Access grants to fund seats for economically disadvantaged and English learner students in high quality preschool programs; and
  3. Results-Based Contract grant (Pay for Success transaction, created in 2014). This grant is not open for applications or new

Becoming High-Quality Grant: This grant program aims to increase high-quality early education capacity in the state and collect student outcome data. Programs who are not meeting all of the elements of high-quality (defined in Utah Code §35-15-202) should apply for this grant.

Expanded Student Access Grant: Programs who meet all of the elements of high-quality (defined in Utah Code §35-15-202) and have an overall average score of a 3.67 and a 4 in interactions and a 4 in language and literacy on the Early childhood Environmental Rating Scale ( ECERS-3) should apply for this grant. If your program does not have a recent ECERS-3 observation, please reach out to

School Readiness Initiative Grant Descriptions and Infographic: Use this School Readiness Infographic link to learn more about the grants and to identify which grant is the best fit for your program.

Be sure to use the following links to learn more about required tools connected to the School Readiness grant: Elements of High-Quality, Utah Core State Standards for Early Learning for Ages 3 to 5, the Preschool Entry and Exit Assessment (PEEP) and the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale, Third Edition (ECERS-3) observation tool.

What are the eligibility requirements for both grants?

What is coaching and how do I find a coach?

Coaching is an individualized approach to professional learning “where educators work towards specific teaching goals with support and feedback from a designated colleague or expert.” Mentoring is usually “a peer-to-peer relationship between a more-experienced and less-experienced educator.” Supervising is “between an educator and the person who has direct managerial responsibility over them” (O’Keefe, 2014, p. 4).

For both the Becoming High-Quality grant and the Expanded Student access grant, programs are required to have a coach when entering into a contract for this initiative. For more information about coaching or if you are in need of a coach, please contact the lead Mentor School Readiness Coach, Samantha Mafua, at

Want to delve deeper into Utah State Legislature Code for this initiative?

Review the School Readiness Initiative Utah State Legislature Code here.

Tune in to School Readiness Board Meetings: Past and current meeting recordings, agendas, supporting documents and School Readiness Board updates can be found on the Utah Public Notice Website. Sign up with your email to receive current meeting updates.

Meet the Board Members: School Readiness Board Members serve two years and can serve more than one term. The board members elect a chair of the board from the board's membership. The department (DWS, OCC) provides staff support to the board. Use this link for a full list of the School Readiness Board Members.

Meet the School Readiness Team: The School Readiness team collaborates closely to run the BHQ and ESA grants and grant solicitation phase. We are from three entities, Department of Workforce Services, Office of Child Care, Utah State Board of Education, and The Children’s Center. Click here to meet the team. 

Release of Grant Application (RFGA): Once the Becoming High-Quality and Expanded Student Access grants have been released, you will find the applications using this DWS, Office of Child Care link.