Mayor Reed urges expansion of Pre-K programs to all Montgomery families

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MONTGOMERY – Mayor Steven L. Reed today joined Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (DECE) Secretary Jeana Ross, DECE Office of School Readiness Director Barbara Cooper and Alabama School Readiness Alliance (ASRA) Executive Director Allison Muhlendorf to promote the expansion of high-quality, voluntary pre-k programs to all Montgomery families.

Mayor Reed visited Providence Early Childhood Learning Academy East, where he saw First Class Pre-K in action.

“Our vision for A New Montgomery calls for creating opportunity for everyone in our community – a place where everyone has the freedom to live, learn and earn.” Mayor Reed said. “In doing so, we must invest in programs like this and expand the existing footprint so that all four-year-old children living in Montgomery County have access to Alabama’s First Class Pre-K.”

For the 13th consecutive year, Alabama’s high-quality, voluntary pre-K program ranks as the top state-funded program in the country for quality. Alabama is 1 of only 3 other states to meet or exceed all 10 of the benchmarks determining quality. State First Class Pre-K classroom allocations range from $50,000 to $120,000 per year, funding that is much needed to help raise the quality of child care and expand access to early learning across Montgomery.

Researchers find that students who participate in a First Class Pre-K classroom – regardless of demographics, zip code or school – are more likely to be proficient in math and reading than their peers. They are also less likely to need special education services, repeat a grade, be chronically absent or have serious disciplinary issues.

With First Class Pre-K slots available for 40 percent of four-year-old children in Montgomery, Mayor Reed is partnering with ASRA to expand access to and participation in pre-K.

Montgomery parents whose child will be 4 years old on or before September 1, 2020 can find the link to preregister their child at www.alabamaschoolreadiness.org.  

Eligible child care providers—and those who want to become providers—whether it is Montgomery Public Schools, universities, faith-based institutions or other community-based programs, can apply for State First Class Pre-K funding allocations through March 13 in an effort to increase access to high-quality, voluntary pre-k classrooms for Montgomery families. Organizations interested in becoming Alabama First Class Pre-K providers are also invited to attend an informational workshop with Mayor Reed on February 27, hosted by the ASRA. Sign-up is available online at www.alabamaschoolreadiness.org.  

For more information on Alabama’s First Class Pre-K pre-registration, provider registration and more, please visit www.alabamaschoolreadiness.org

All rights reserved, Gumptown Magazine. Copyright 2020.  

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