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Ted’s Talk: Indy (Hearts) Pre-K

“Indy (Hearts) Pre-K,” stated the t-shirts upon throngs of people packed into the Indianapolis City-County Council meeting room on March 2. On that evening, the collective effort of many people paid off when the Council votes 19-10 to approve funding for the Indianapolis Preschool Scholarship Program (or “Indy PSP”). The program will serve over 1,000 preschoolers this coming school year.

It was heartening to see such strong support from our city’s government, corporate and nonprofit leaders. This is not just an act of altruism, but an investment in the future of our city. Our city decided that filling potholes (while important) is not enough. Filling minds is an even better investment. We can’t wait to see even more fresh young faces enter the doors of our centers this coming school year. We have long provided quality preschool of children, but now we will be able to serve more – perhaps many more – that would not have otherwise had the opportunity.

Currently, over 50 programs have signed up as qualified Indy PSP providers, including 8 of our locations. Parents will be pleasantly surprised to find that many of these providers are community-based programs that are open all day and year round. Most early childhood programs, like our Day Early Learning centers, open around 6am and don’t close until 6pm and provide programming through the summer months. This is important because 70% of young children don’t have a stay-at-home parent. Parents need to work. These programs can accommodate the working family, thus strengthening both the education of the child and the financial stability of the family.

In the end, pre-K is a family-strengthening program. It is widely known that children who attend a quality pre-K are more successful in school. We are now seeing that parenting also improves when children are in a quality preschool program. Quality time with children increases because children learn how to engage adults in learning. They bring us books to read. They talk about school and what they learned. Learning builds on learning at home and at school. Parents want and need a good education for their children. Indy has proven that it (hearts) pre-K and families by investing big in children.

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Eight Day Early Learning centers are eligible providers of Indy PSP and On My Way Pre-K:

More info on Day Early Learning can be found at www.dayearlylearning.org.  Parents of children between the ages of 3-5 can apply now on the city’s website: www.indypsp.org or www.onmywayprek.org.

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