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7/12/2015 - Mayor Finch Announces Sign-Ups for Free, High-Quality Pre-K

“Having sent my four boys through pre-K I know firsthand the importance of quality early childhood education. The research is clear: If kids aren't reading at the level they should be by third grade, they're less likely to graduate. That is why quality, universal early childhood education is so essential if we want to prepare our kids for jobs in the future.” -- Mayor Bill Finch

Bridgeport, Conn. (July 12, 2015) – Today, Mayor Bill Finch announced the opportunity for Bridgeport families to sign-up for free or low-cost, high-quality pre-K right in their neighborhood.

The programs are open to Bridgeport children who will turn 4-years-old Jan. 1, 2016 and whose family’s household income qualifies.

“Having sent my four boys through pre-K I know firsthand the importance of quality early childhood education,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “The research is clear: If kids aren't reading at the level they should be by third grade, they're less likely to graduate. That is why quality, universal early childhood education is so essential if we want to prepare our kids for jobs in the future.”

Last month,  Mayor Finch, Bridgeport Superintendent of Schools Fran Rabinowitz, and the United Way launched a universal pre-K initiative aimed at ensuring every kid in Bridgeport is prepared to enter kindergarten.

The Mayor and Superintendent announced the initiative at the annual meeting of the Bridgeport Alliance for Young Children.

After adding 366 new slots in the last year, more than 90 percent of three and four year olds have access to pre-K education in Bridgeport. Yet only two-thirds of the kids attend pre-K programs, said Superintendent Rabinowitz.

“I’m very honored and pleased to be working with the mayor, and he has the vision for this universal pre-school. Working with him we are going to be able to make it happen,” she said

BAYC is a collaboration with the city, Bridgeport Public Schools and the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County comprised of parents, providers and more than 150 active volunteers.

BAYC works with families and the greater community to ensure access to quality early care, as well as education and health services for all children, birth to age eight.

Using the definition that other major cities use, Bridgeport already has achieved universal pre-K, Mayor Finch noted.

Seattle, for example, defines Universal pre-K as offering free or reduced cost slots to 80 percent of all three and four years olds. San Francisco set a goal of offering pre-K for free or at a reduced cost to 75 percent of all four year olds.

“Those are ambitious goals, but I think in Bridgeport we can do even better,” Mayor Finch said. “That is why we are committed  to making sure every kid in Bridgeport has access to quality pre-K  education so they can hit the ground running when they start kindergarten.”

Said Mayor Finch: “We are forming a taskforce to create a universal pre-K definition specific to the Park City and to create a plan to make sure quality pre-K is accessible and affordable for all parents. We are off to a strong start."

These slots are a part of Bridgeport’s city wide push to bring universal pre-K. The city added 366 new slots in the last year, giving more than 90 percent of three and four year olds access to pre-K education in Bridgeport. There are a total of nearly 4,000 available slots across the city.

This opportunity for free, full-day, high-quality pre-K offers qualified preschool teachers, family engagement programs so parents can be involved, transportation, and health screenings including dental, vision, hearing, mental health and developmental screenings to make sure your child is healthy.

To be eligible for the program your family household income must be no more than:

  1. Person Family/Household: $23,540
  2. Person Family/Household: $31, 860
  3. Person Family/Household: $40,180
  4. Person Family/Household: $48,500
  5. Person Family/Household: $56,820
  6. Person Family/Household: $65,140

Space is limited and classes start in late August or early September so sign up your child today.

See below for a listing of the local programs to contact:

A.B.C.D. at Jamie Hulley          

460 Lafayette St.  06604

203-367-6801 (September 1 start date)                      

 

Affordable and Loving Childcare                                             

1006 Reservoir Ave. 06606                                                            

203-378-8012  (August 27 start date)                                      

 

Lovable Angels Childcare Learning Center                       

1825 East Main St. 06610                                                              

203-337-6614 (September 1 start date)                 

 

Precious Memories Early Childhood Learning Center

2181 Main St. 06604

203-260-8797 (September 8 start date)

 

St. Mark’s Day Care Center

368 Newfield Ave.  06607

203-335-3828 (August 27 start date)

 

YMCA at Kolbe                                                                                

401 Kossuth St.  06608                                                   

203-332-6447  (September 1 start date)