KENTUCKY (WEHT) – Governor Andy Beshear announced on Thursday the federal government selected Kentucky for a nearly $36 million grant to ensure more children are ready for kindergarten.

The Office of Early Childhood Development Preschool Development Birth through Five (PDG B-5) grant will provide Kentucky with $11.9 million each year over a three-year period. Governor Beshear said in a press release the funds will develop and expand early learning programs, build an early childhood education workforce talent pipeline and expand access for children in need.

“My administration will always put education first, and that starts with our youngest students, so they have the strong start in school and life that they deserve,” Gov. Beshear said. “This is an investment in our kids and also in our future workforce and economy. It’s personal to me as a dad, because I want all of our kids to have the best opportunities possible right here.”

The $36 million federal award will build upon a $10.6 million PDG B-5 grant to Kentucky in 2019.