Public preschool initiative an investment in the future
Posted September 28, 2016 in Press Releases
Many Cincinnati children are shut out of preschool.
For immediate release
Contact: Michael Shields, 216.361.9801
The levy can bring critically needed early-childhood education programs to low- and middle-income families across Cincinnati.
Issue 44 would bring $48 million per year in local funding to education programs from preschool through 12th grade, including $15 million to expand access to preschool and improve school readiness. In a city where 44 percent of children live below the poverty line and just 48 percent start kindergarten ready to learn, preschool can make the difference for thousands of families. Policy Matters found that more than half of the city’s young children lack access to a preschool, and high-quality options are even more limited.
Early education programs with robust wraparound childcare hours can also have a big impact on family financial security by creating a safe space for children while parents work. Yet the preschool price tag for the median center-based preschool is $9,372, a huge cost in a community where the median household earns just $34,002. Ohio’s stingy eligibility for state preschool funding leaves low-income families with no help to cover the cost. Public preschools fill up, and some 500 families were on a wait list last year.
“Families struggle to afford preschool, while schools and centers face cost challenges to deliver top quality programs,” said Policy Matters researcher Michael Shields, the report author. “Robust public funding is needed to bridge the gap.”
"The benefits of high quality preschool are long-lasting