(a) In general
Subject to section 9409 of this title, grant funds under this chapter shall be used to pay for developing, operating, or enhancing voluntary early learning programs that are likely to produce sustained gains in early learning.
(b) Limited uses
Subject to section 9409 of this title, Lead State Agencies and Local Councils shall ensure that funds made available under this chapter to the agencies and Local Councils are used for three or more of the following activities:
(1) Helping parents, caregivers, child care providers, and educators increase their capacity to facilitate the development of cognitive, language comprehension, expressive language, social-emotional, and motor skills, and promote learning readiness.
(2) Promoting effective parenting.
(3) Enhancing early childhood literacy.
(4) Developing linkages among early learning programs within a community and between early learning programs and health care services for young children.
(5) Increasing access to early learning opportunities for young children with special needs, including developmental delays, by facilitating coordination with other programs serving such young children.
(6) Increasing access to existing early learning programs by expanding the days or times that the young children are served, by expanding the number of young children served, or by improving the affordability of the programs for low-income families.
(7) Improving the quality of early learning programs through professional development and training activities, increased compensation, and recruitment and retention incentives, for early learning providers.
(8) Removing ancillary barriers to early learning, including transportation difficulties and absence of programs during nontraditional work times.
Each Lead State Agency designated under section 9409(c) of this title and Local Councils receiving a grant under this chapter shall ensure—
(1) that Local Councils described in section 9413 of this title work with local educational agencies to identify cognitive, social, emotional, and motor developmental abilities which are necessary to support children's readiness for school;
(2) that the programs, services, and activities assisted under this chapter will represent developmentally appropriate steps toward the acquisition of those abilities; and
(3) that the programs, services, and activities assisted under this chapter collectively provide benefits for children cared for in their own homes as well as children placed in the care of others.
(d) Sliding scale payments
States and Local Councils receiving assistance under this chapter shall ensure that programs, services, and activities assisted under this chapter which customarily require a payment for such programs, services, or activities, adjust the cost of such programs, services, and activities provided to the individual or the individual's child based on the individual's ability to pay.