Indianapolis (March 5, 2015) – Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL) is now accepting applications from families in the five pilot counties who may be eligible for grants for their children to receive high-quality, prekindergarten education through the On My Way Pre-K program starting in August of 2015.
- The family must have an income below 127 percent of the federal poverty level.
- The child must be 4 years old by August 1, 2015, and starting kindergarten in August 2016.
In Marion County, the same criteria apply as those listed above. However, the City of Indianapolis is providing additional funding in Marion County through its Indy Preschool Scholarship Program (Indy PSP). And while families can apply to Indy PSP and On My Way Pre-K using a single application, the Indy PSP funding will add eligibility in Marion County for children who are three years old and are from families living at or below 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
It is important to note that first priority will be given to children from families living at or below 127 percent of the Federal Poverty Level for On My Way Pre-K.
Once a child has received a grant, families in all five counties will choose from any of the eligible, enrolled On My Way Pre-K programs. OECOSL has already enrolled 128 On My Way Pre-K providers in the five pilot counties, and the application process 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).
Applications will be accepted until April 30, 2015. If more families qualify than there are grants available, awards will be made through a randomized lottery process. This lottery will be held on or around May 4, 2015, and families will be notified if they receive a grant.
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. A list of approved pre-K providers can be found 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.
To apply in Allen County, click here
To apply in Jackson County, click here
To apply in Lake County, click here
To apply in Marion County, click here
To apply in Vanderburgh County, click here
More than 400 children who will begin kindergarten in August of 2015 are currently participating in the first phase of On My Way Pre-K, which began in Allen, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties in January of this year.
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. In addition to Allen, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh Counties, which are making a limited program available for about 400 children beginning in January, Jackson County will join the others and be fully-operational by the fall of 2015. The pilot program is expected to ultimately serve more than 2,000 students in the five counties. For more information, visit www.onmywayprek.org.
The Indy Preschool Scholarship Program (Indy PSP) is the City of Indianapolis’s first ever preschool program that provides free scholarships for children from low-income families to attend quality preschools. Indy PSP is partnering with On My Way Pre-K to expand access to preschool for families in Marion County. The United Way of Central Indiana will provide program administration support by managing the application, outreach, and evaluation processes. Visit www.indypsp.org for more information.
The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is a division of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA).
Name: Marni Lemons