The Futures Institute

Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) Initial Grant

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Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) Initial Grant

The PDG B-5 grant, which is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, provides state governments (including territories) from states with either small or no state preschool programs the opportunity to build or improve their preschool services, particularly for children in high need communities. The $230,000,000 grant, with an award ceiling of $15,000,000, funds states to conduct a comprehensive statewide birth through five needs assessment followed by in-depth strategic planning, while enhancing parent choice and expanding the current mixed delivery system consisting of a wide range of provider types and settings, including child care centers and home-based child care providers, Head Start and Early Head Start, state pre-kindergarten, and home visiting service providers across the public, private and faith-based sectors. The grant also requires states to reach and serves additional eligible children in one or more high-need communities. There is also a Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) Renewal Grant for states that have been awarded a PDG B-5 grant before. The estimated due date for the grant is November 3, 2022 and the grant has been repeated previously.

Evidence on Investments in Health and Treatment

To implement community safety-focused programs, jurisdictions must have an adequate supply of peers and professionals who can provide voluntary, non-coercive services that support physical and mental health—and allow appropriate staffing for non-carceral crisis response and similar programs. Expanding access to basic health care has been found to reduce crime, as well as save money on legal system expenses. Research demonstrates that when the number of treatment facilities for substance use disorder increases, crime decreases in the same area. Expanded access to mental health treatment, and psychiatric treatment in particular, has been found to reduce violent crime. 

This effect is especially powerful when looking at youth. Increasing wraparound services in schools that treat physical and mental health in high risk areas have been shown to reduce juvenile arrests as well as child abuse cases. High quality afterschool programs that promote students’ health and development can reduce drug use and decrease arrests and other forms of criminal-legal involvement among children. Furthermore, early childhood intervention programs, as well as nutrition programs for newborns, are likely to reduce crime. Expanded access to mental health treatment, and to psychiatric treatment in particular, has also been found to reduce violent crime. 

Community safety cannot succeed without a robust, well-trained workforce of mental health and treatment professionals—not only because these services can reduce violence and harm, but also because physical and mental health are vitally important for safety itself. For too long, this country has taken a punishment and enforcement approach to how we address mental health, substance use, and related issues; the following investments, paired with further public health-centered policy changes, are a first step toward changing this paradigm.