April 25, 2016
“NEW BEDFORD — The School Department and four area preschool providers are working together to find ways to provide free preschool to about 80 3-year-olds next year.
It is part of an effort to get young kids learning early to improve their education over the long term.
The School Department received a $40,000 planning grant in January from the state Department of Early Education and Care to examine what is needed to increase access to high quality preschool programs for children who are 2 years and 9 months old through kindergarten. The city has partnered with NorthStar Learning Center, the YMCA, Little People’s College and PACE Headstart, which would provide the space for the children. The plan is due June 30. It is only a planning grant, however, and does not include funding for actual implementation.
About 80 youngsters would be able to access the free program under the plan. In the second year, another 80 kids could join the program, adding new kindergarten and preschool classes under the proposal, school officials said.
“It is extremely important in this community. There are so many families who are not accessing the services,” said Jill Fox, director of PACE Head Start.”
To read more, please visit the article on SouthCoast Today here.