Preschool Promise plans to expand educational opportunities
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The Preschool Promise promises to be up and running by the fall of 2017... but then what?
The voter-approved expansion of preschool in Cincinnati not only adds an expected 2,000 seats but it is also meant to add quality.
All pre-schools are not the same. An Early Learning Academy run by Cincinnati Union Bethel is top of the line, five-stars, in the state of Ohio's 1 through 5 star rating system. Marcus Kenney's grandchildren, Merrell and Serenity, go there.
Kenney said, "I am blown away with the improvement. They come and say, 'Grandpa, I learned this, we've got to do this.' It warms my heart to know the teachers care this much to make sure my grandchildren and all the others down there are exceeding expectations. I'm loving it. I'm loving it."
The Preschool Promise gives tuition vouchers based on family income and on the quality of the preschool. Only three, four, and five-star facilities can participate. The higher the quality, the higher the tuition credit. Higher rated programs have teachers with college degrees, an evidence-based curriculum, and a focus on getting preschoolers ready for kindergarten.
Julie Muehlenkamp said, "As a parent walking in to the center, the teacher should be in constant contact with you about your child; how he or she is doing in the classroom and what you can do at home."
But the key to the Preschool Promise is it's not day care, it's not baby sitting. It's school, pre-school, but still school.