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PRE4CLE Connects 1,200 Cleveland Children to High-Quality Preschool in First Year

Cleveland, Dec. 15, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

PRE4CLE released its first annual report today showing that Cleveland has made major strides toward expanding access to high-quality preschool for all of its children after just one year of implementation. Enrollment has grown by 10 percent with 1,200 additional children enrolled in high-quality preschools. Additionally, data show that 80 percent of children in high-quality PRE4CLE classrooms are on track to be ready for kindergarten.

PRE4CLE is Cleveland’s plan to expand high-quality preschool to all 3- and 4-year-olds in the city of Cleveland by connecting parents with high-quality preschool openings, creating new high-quality seats, and helping providers improve their quality ratings under the state’s quality rating and improvement system, Step Up to Quality.

An additional 10 percent of Cleveland’s 12,400 children enrolled in high-quality preschool in PRE4CLE’s first year. This benchmark exceeds the first-year enrollment growth of nationally-recognized preschool initiatives in other major cities (San Antonio, 6 percent of 10,800 children; Boston, 9 percent of 2,300 children). Additional first-year highlights include:

  • 80 percent of children in PRE4CLE classrooms are on track for kindergarten readiness according to Bracken Kindergarten Readiness Assessment data analyzed by researchers at Case Western Reserve University.
  • 21 preschool programs were newly-rated as high-quality, serving 750 additional students.
  • 99% of Cleveland’s high-quality programs partnered with PRE4CLE to expand high-quality early learning.

Libby Doggett, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, praised Cleveland’s efforts. “PRE4CLE’s work in their first year to improve access to and quality of its preschool offering is a testament to their focus on building classrooms with well-trained teachers, research-based curriculum, and a variety of educational and engaging activities to provide children the academic and social-emotional skills needed for success in kindergarten and beyond,” Doggett said. “After the first year in PRE4CLE preschools, 80 percent of children enrolled are on track for kindergarten readiness—a remarkable feat. Being prepared for kindergarten is the first step. I applaud PRE4CLE’s efforts to ensure all of Cleveland’s 3- and 4-year-old children have such an opportunity.”

Roberto Rodriguez, White House Domestic Policy Counsel Deputy Assistant to President Obama for Education, visited PRE4CLE classrooms in October 2014. “We are fortunate to have growing public and private sector engagement in early care and education. Across the nation and in communities like Cleveland, corporate leaders and foundations are taking action to drive new resources to early education, accelerating and building on public investments to broaden the reach and deepen the quality of early learning for children,” he said. “Cleveland’s PRE4CLE initiative is a national model for how a public and private partnership can work together to ensure our youngest learners have access to high-quality preschool and enter kindergarten ready to succeed."

PRE4CLE launched in the 2014 school year as a result of an unprecedented early childhood public and private partnership between Cleveland Metropolitan School District, the early childhood community, government entities, corporations and philanthropic partners. In its first year, PRE4CLE raised $8.5 million in public funds and $900,000 in private funds.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) applauded Cleveland’s community effort to expand high-quality preschool. “It is never too early to invest in a child’s education. High-quality preschool programs like PRE4CLE help prepare children for a strong education. We must continue to promote preschool openings and boost enrollment in the Cleveland area,” he said. “With public and private resources, PRE4CLE will set more northeast Ohio children on a path to success by investing in their education.”

Katie Kelly, PRE4CLE Executive Director, said the Cleveland community fully embraced the idea of working together to support its youngest students, and it shows. “The results we were able to accomplish in year one are a reflection of a community deeply committed to ensuring that every child in Cleveland enters school ready to succeed in school and in life.”

About PRE4CLE: PRE4CLE is a plan to ensure all 3-and-4-year-old children in Cleveland have access to high-quality preschool. PRE4CLE is a major next step in implementing Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools and is led by the Cleveland Early Childhood Compact. For more information, visit http://pre4cle.org/media-center/.

Contact: Malissa Bodmann 216-536-7517 malissa@advocacyandcommunication.org

Source:Cleveland Pre-K Task Force