11/7/2017 5:06:00 AM Pre-kindergarten applicants sought for low-income families
Indian Department of Family and Social Services
Indiana's Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is accepting applications from families in 10 of the recently announced 15 expansion counties who may be eligible for grants for their children to receive high-quality, prekindergarten education through the On My Way Pre-K program for the 2017/2018 school year.
Families residing in Bartholomew, Delaware, Elkhart, Howard, Kosciusko, Madison, Marshall, Monroe, St. Joseph, and Tippecanoe Counties must meet the following eligibility criteria to apply:
The family must have an income below 127 percent of the federal poverty level.
Parents or guardians must be working and/or attending school or an accredited or certified education/training program.
The child must have turned 4 years old by August 1, 2017, and be starting kindergarten in August 2018.
Links to applications and a chart with income eligibility guidelines are available at www.OnMyWayPreK.org.
The other five expansion counties (DeKalb, Floyd, Grant, Harrison and Vigo) will begin their programs at the beginning of the 2018/2019 school year.
Once a child has received a grant, families will choose from any of the eligible, enrolled On My Way Pre-K programs. OECOSL has enrolled nearly 60 On My Way Pre-K providers in the 10 new counties, and the application process for new providers is ongoing. In order to qualify, the program must be top-ranked at level 3 or level 4 on Paths to QUALITY or be 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.
Parents in On My Way Pre-K counties can find approved providers located near them here. 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.
More than 2,100 children who began kindergarten in July or August of 2017 are currently participating in the third full year of On My Way Pre-K, which began in Allen, Jackson, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties in July/August of 2016. Previously, more than 2,700 children have participated in previous cohorts of the pilot program, from January 2015 through August of 2016.
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 and has been operating since 2015 in Allen, Jackson, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh Counties. In 2017, the General Assembly authorized FSSA to add 15 additional counties. For more information, visit www.onmywayprek.org.
The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is a division of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA).