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City Sees Huge Demand for Preschool Scholarships

City Sees Huge Demand for Preschool Scholarships

In Indianapolis, the first enrollment period of a city-backed endeavor to provide families in need with scholarships to pay for their children's preschool saw four times as many applications than the 1,300 scholarships available.

The high demand is further evidence that there are many families who want to get their children into early education and can't afford to do so.

According to the Indiana Chalkboard, a lottery will have to be used to determine who gets aid and who does not.

"A lottery will be used to select which of the 4,967 qualified applicants will receive up to $6,800 annually for children who attend full day preschool and at least $2,500 for half day programs. Families should hear next week," the article said.

The program is set to span five years and is in total a $40 million public-private aid program. It aims to help the poorest families first, and starts with families that earn less tha $55,000 a year for a family of four.

"Last summer, [Mayor] Ballard’s office estimated as many as 6,000 poor Indianapolis families would place their children in preschools if they had financial assistance. It nearly met its goal of 5,000 applicants," the article said.

Ballard's administration is pleased to see the high demand for preschool programs and will continue to work to make quality early education accessible to low-income families.

The next step, the article said, is to ensure the quality of preschools. "To receive scholarships, preschools must be rated a 3 or 4 on a the state’s voluntary four-step rating system, which means they offer safe, healthy facilities with education programs."

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

05/07/2015

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