Behning: Pre-K spots open for eligible 4-year-olds

STATEHOUSE (Sept. 17, 2020) – Spots remain open for eligible Hoosier families to enroll 4-year-olds in On My Way Pre-K, according to State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis).

As Indiana’s early childhood education program, On My Way Pre-K provides grants to 4-year-olds from low-income families to attend pre-K. Behning said high-quality programs like On My Way Pre-K can help close achievement gaps often seen in students who do not begin school with an early learning opportunity.    

“A strong educational foundation is critical to success inside the classroom,” said Behning, chair of the House Education Committee. “While students enrolled in pre-K learn basic skills like the alphabet and counting, they also learn how to follow directions and interact with others. A high-quality, pre-K program is one of the best ways to prepare students to enter kindergarten and excel throughout their academic career.”

To enroll, Behning said a child must be 4 years old as of Aug. 1, 2020, and starting kindergarten in the 2021-2022 school year. Eligible families have incomes below 127 percent of the federal poverty level, with one parent or guardian working, going to school or attending job training. Behning said while spots are still available, space is limited, so families should apply now.

According to Behning, early education providers across the state are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health and safety guidelines to protect students. He said facilities are implementing new drop-off and pick-up procedures, sanitizing and cleaning desks and classrooms, practicing social distancing, conducting health screenings, and enforcing fever- and symptom-free policies.   

On My Way Pre-K, established through a law authored by Behning, launched in 2015 in five pilot counties and is now available statewide. As a strong advocate for early learning, Behning further championed two additional laws expanding the program statewide.

Behning said Hoosiers should visit or call 800-299-1627 for more information and to apply.

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