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'On My Way Pre-K' provides funding for early education

Posted at 7:06 PM, Jul 22, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — Let's face it. Childcare is expensive, and that includes pre-kindergarten schooling.

But thanks to "On My Way Pre-K, children like Lisa Lawrence's granddaughter, Jazelle, can receive what's considered a high quality pre-k education for free.

"We all know it takes two incomes a lot of times to run a home and so that extra expense for childcare it might deter you from wanting to seek out facilities and centers," Lawrence said. "She'll be a step ahead of the game, and she'll be able to keep up with her peers when she starts kindergarten. It's helping our family financially, of course."

On My Way Pre-K is a relatively new state-funded program that gives low-income families access to a pre-k education.

"Parents are able to work or go to school and the ability to do that really impacts both generations. Both the parents and the children," Early Learning Indiana CEO Maureen Weber said.

And it's not just any education, but the best in the state.

"There are four levels within Indiana, and we consider anything that's a level three or four to be a high-quality," Weber said.

In order to qualify for this program, your child must be four years old by August 1. A parent must be working, going to school or attending job training. And let's just say on average for a family of three, you must make no more than $2,200 a month.

There is no deadline to apply, but there are limited funds for families to receive this assistance so it is recommended that families apply as soon as possible.

"Kids who have been enrolled in a high-quality pre-K program are more likely to have some basic content knowledge around literacy and math. They're able to do things like problem-solving to persist when they have a problem," Weber said.

And most importantly, they know how to get along with other kids.

"It's really benefiting our family in just like several ways," Lawrence said.