Lake County Selected for Pre-K Program
July 22, 2014 – Lake County is among the five counties that will participate in the state’s pilot pre-K, or pre-kindergarten, program, which will help 4-year-olds from low-income families attend preschool. Indiana Governor Mike Pence announced the five counties selected today, which also include Allen, Jackson, Marion and Vanderburgh Counties. The program was established by the 2014 General Assembly with the passage of House Enrolled Act 1004.
Funding will be provided in the five counties for students to attend accredited private schools, public schools or community based early education providers ranked Level 3 or Level 4 in Paths to QUALITY™, the state’s voluntary child care rating system.
In a press release announcing the selection, Governor Pence stated, “Every Indiana child deserves to start kindergarten ready to learn and to begin a lifetime of learning. Today, I am pleased to accept the recommendations of our working group. The State looks forward to partnering with these counties and working to ensure that these resources are made available to assist some of our most vulnerable children early next year.”
In June, the Indiana Family Social Services Administration (FSSA) announced 18 counties selected as finalists for the program. After submitting a statement for consideration, the final five counties were selected by FSSA and a group of evaluators from various universities, private businesses and non-profits. According to the governor’s office, the selection process was based on “a determination of need and the county’s ability and readiness to meet that need.”
The program is scheduled to begin in early 2015.