Preschool Development Grant

In late 2019, Wyoming was awarded a Preschool Development Grant to develop programs and initiatives that will support families with young children and early childhood professionals. In 2021, Wyoming was awarded a Renewal Grant – a continuation in funding – in order to implement the work outlined in the Strategic Plan from the initial grant.

On this page, you can read about the plans and outcomes, find unique resources developed under the grant, and learn about quality care and education for Wyoming’s children.

Wyoming Early Childhood Leaders Updated the Strategic Plan in 2023

Wyoming’s Early Childhood Strategic Plan 2023-24 Roadmap reflects the updates to the original strategic plan and will be implemented through the continued efforts of its Early Childhood State Advisory Council, working in close coordination with the Governor’s Office.

2021-2023 Original Strategic Plan

This Early Childhood Strategic Plan describes a path towards achieving a vision and mission for all children and families in the state. The goals, strategies, and action steps herein are rooted in Wyoming’s guiding principles. Each section is an essential part of realizing the Preschool Development Grant’s mission and vision.

Comprehensive Early Childhood Statewide Needs Assessment (NA)

Wyoming conducted a statewide NA between January and August 2020 to identify strengths and gaps in the state’s B-5 system. The NA was completed in August 2020 and accepted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in September 2020. Wyoming worked with a NA contractor to collect additional data pertaining to child and family access to programs and services, the quality of those services, and the level of coordination in the EC system. Wyoming conducted an update to the Statewide Needs Assessment in March 2023.

Vision +

Wyoming envisions a future in which:

All children are safe, healthy, nurtured, and prepared for the successes and challenges ahead of them in school, the workforce, and life.

All families are supported, stable, and economically secure; they help their children explore, grow, and learn in safe and nurturing places.

Communities and the state collaborate to align resources, programs, services, and policies that maximize outcomes across family supports, health, and early learning.

Mission +

To co-construct, implement, and advocate for the systems and conditions that are necessary for all of Wyoming’s young children and their families to be safe, healthy, valued, and thriving.

Click through the wheel below for an overview of the progress made so far!


Family Empowerment, Knowledge, and Choice

Families must be supported as their child’s first teacher, have what they need to make informed decisions, and be able to access services where they live and work. Wyoming has the opportunity to build on ongoing efforts to further communicate the importance of a child’s first 5 years of life and the impact that a child’s early development can have on their future success.

Awareness-building efforts should incorporate the latest research and guidance, including developmental milestones and suggested activities for families to support the healthy growth and development of their young children. A centralized and comprehensive ECE and birth through 5 (B-5) information source would both allow families to access information about available services and strengthen the ability of ECE and B-5 service providers to make referrals. This focus area will build upon ongoing efforts to communicate about the importance of a child’s first 5 years of life and the impact that a child’s early development can have on their future.


Connection and Access to ECE and B-5 Services

Families with young children must have their basic needs met and be connected to supports and resources that help them be independent and resilient. At the local level, many ECE and B-5 service providers stay informed of the available services in their area and refer families to appropriate services. There is an opportunity for the state to build on these local efforts by developing and offering information and tools to support ECE and B-5 service navigation. This focus area will build upon the work described in the Family Empowerment, Knowledge, and Choice focus area to expand connection and access to the range of ECE and B-5 services throughout the state.



Children and their families experience many formal and informal transitions throughout a child’s first 5 years of life, which have an impact on development and learning. These transitions may include a new child care or preschool teacher, changing ECE programs, beginning kindergarten, moving to a new house, the arrival of a sibling, and more. There is an essential need to support young children and families during times of transition, and schools and communities must respond with greater intention to ensure children’s success. This focus area builds off of the recently established Transitions Task Force and outlines comprehensive supports for families to navigate transitions and to build their resilience and ability to navigate future transitions.


Early Childhood Education Quality

Advancing child outcomes relies on a well-articulated path to quality. There is clear evidence demonstrating the positive impacts that high quality ECE experiences during a child’s first 5 years of life can have on their long term success. There are a number of systems and frameworks that support the quality of ECE programs in Wyoming including, accreditation processes, the state’s child care licensing requirements, Head Start requirements and guidelines, and the statewide Early Learning Guidelines (ELGs, about children B-2) and Foundations (ELFs, about children 3-5). The Wyoming Quality Learning Network was convened in 2020 to develop a vision for ECE quality for the state. This focus area will implement the resulting resource document, Coherent Path to Quality (CP2Q): Creating a Shared Vision to Ensure High Quality Learning for Wyoming’s Children, to promote continuity and consistency of relationships, environments, and experiences for all children in the state.


Early Childhood Education Workforce

A well prepared and supported ECE workforce is critical to provide high quality ECE services. Wyoming must provide ECE educators and caregivers with the supports and resources they need to deliver quality services to children and families. Wyoming has a number of robust workforce preparation and training systems and initiatives that can be further developed and coordinated to better serve the state’s workforce. This focus area will strengthen and align preparation, professional learning, career advancement, and networking to advance a diverse ECE workforce.


Governance, Systems, and Data

Communities must be empowered and supported by the state to create the necessary conditions for families and children to thrive. At the state level, Wyoming has considerable opportunity to strengthen the coordination and alignment of programs supporting young children and their families. The Early Childhood Governance Task Force was appointed in 2020 to recommend an early childhood governance structure for the state. This focus area will build on the ongoing work of the Task Force to maximize opportunities for coordination, alignment, and funding to provide the best possible services and support for families, educators, and communities.

Program Progress Evaluations

The Preschool Development Grant includes program progress evaluations. For more information, download and review past reports below.

For additional data that informed the evaluations, view the memos below.

See Where it All Began