Pilot Pre-K Program Deadline Arrives

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Monday is the deadline for families to apply for Indiana's pilot, state-funded pre-kindergarten program. Eligible families from Allen, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties can apply.

Originally Posted November 19, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Indiana's Office of Early Education and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL) is now accepting applications from families in the first four pilot counties who may be eligible for grants for their children to receive high-quality, prekindergarten education through the On My Way Pre-K program starting in January of 2015. Children eligible for the first phase of the pilot will include 4-year-olds living in Allen, Lake, Marion or Vanderburgh Counties who will start kindergarten in the fall of 2015. Jackson County is also part of the pilot and will become operational later in 2015.

Families must meet the following eligibility criteria to apply:

• The family must have an income below 127 percent of the federal poverty level (See income eligibility guide here),

• The family must reside in Allen, Lake, Marion or Vanderburgh Counties, and

• The child must be 4 years old and starting kindergarten in August 2015.

Applications will be accepted until December 15, 2014. If more families qualify than there are grants available, awards will be made through a randomized lottery process. This lottery will be held on or around December 17, 2014, and families will be notified if they receive a grant.

Once a child has received a grant, parents may choose from any of the eligible, enrolled On My Way Pre-K programs. OECOSL is currently enrolling high-quality programs which are either top-ranked at level 3 or level 4 on Paths to QUALITY or are accredited by an approved national or regional accrediting body (Click here for details on provider eligibility).

Approved pre-K programs may be located in a public or private school, licensed child care center, licensed home or registered ministry as long as that program meets the quality requirements and is registered as an On My Way Pre-K Provider. Families may choose from a program that is full-day or part-day, as well as from programs that end with the school year or continue through the summer. A list of approved pre-K providers will be made available in December and posted online. Families who need help finding an approved pre-K program can also call 1-800-299-1627 for assistance from an early learning referral specialist.

To apply in Allen County click here.

To apply in Lake County click here.

To apply in Marion County click here.

To apply in Vanderburgh County click here.

For instructions on how to complete the application click here.

On My Way Pre-K is the name of Indiana's first state-funded prekindergarten program, which was approved as a five-county pilot by the Indiana General Assembly in 2014. In addition to Allen, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh Counties, which are making a limited program available for about 400 children beginning in January, Jackson County will join the others and be fully-operational by the fall of 2015. The pilot program is expected to ultimately serve approximately 2,000 students in the five counties.

Governor Pence and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration are committed to asking the 2015 General Assembly to set aside funds in the next state budget to help ensure the ongoing success of On My Way Pre-K. The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is a division of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA).

Source: Indiana Family and Social Services Administration