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Recent early education news and updates

In the News

Prioritizing Preschool


September 6, 2016
AccessUniversal and Targeted
Nora Doyle-Burr
Valley News

Ivann Ordway, 4, joined several of his classmates as they explored their new preschool classroom at Bradford Elementary School during an open house before school started. The program’s first day last Wednesday marked Ivann’s first ever day of school. 

As a result of the state’s new universal preschool law, Act 166 — which went into effect in July — Ivann and the state’s other 3- and 4-year-olds, and 5-year-olds not yet in kindergarten, have access to 10 hours of publicly funded preschool each week during the school year.

By offering public funds for 10 weekly hours of preschool, state legislators — including the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Sarah Buxton, D-Tunbridge — aim to better prepare incoming kindergarteners for future learning by teaching social skills and providing the opportunity to practice sitting and attending to a task.

The public tuition money — $3,092 per pupil this year — which families access through their school district of residence, can be used for programs like Bradford’s in a public school or for qualified private programs in homes or child care centers.