In Rhode Island, 981 children under the age of three are enrolled in Early Head Start programs and 1,016 3-year olds and 1,708 4-year-olds are enrolled in Head Start programs. At the state level, Rhode Islandoffersa high-quality, well-funded early childhood program targeted to low-income children and families. Nationally, the state ranks 4th in per-child spending for this preschool program, providing $9,278 per-child, per-year. Rhode Island also has one of the highest quality programs in the country, with its program continuing to meet all 10quality benchmarks in early childhood education established by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER).In December 2011, Rhode Island was one of nine states awarded grants from the $500 million Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge fund. As part of the grant implementation process, seven Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge projects have been created including the– Early Learning Workforce Development, Program Quality Improvement, Program Quality Standards Alignment and Measurement, Early Learning Standards and Development, Child Assessment, Early Learning Data System, and Grant Management to ensure high quality standards and accountability. The average annual cost of center-based infant care in the state is $12,075.