On My Way Pre-K

Claire McInerny / http://indianapublicmedia.org/stateimpact/

For years, Indiana lagged behind other states when it came to educating three and four year olds. But that’s changing quickly. The state recently launched a pre-k pilot program in five counties, including Marion County, where the Indianapolis mayor’s office also started a scholarship program to enroll more low-income kids in pre-k. 

As dozens of preschoolers run around the fenced in playground at Francis Bellamy, a preschool within the Indianapolis Public Schools system, principal Linda Hogan explains why recess is especially important for these children.

David Shank / Shank Public Relations Counselors

Proposed legislation this General Assembly sought to make kindergarten mandatory for Hoosier children by lowering the compulsory school age from seven to five.  It’s an issue that has lawmakers and educators split -- even as the state focuses on funding early education initiatives.

Count to 100 by ones.

Solve real-world problems that involve addition and subtraction.

Understand how a nonfiction book is organized.

Those are the some of the more than 60 skills five-year-olds are expected to learn now in Indiana’s public kindergartens.

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

As Indiana’s “On My Way Pre-K” pilot program launches this month, lawmakers are discussing the potential to expand the initiative.

Legislation waiting for consideration proposes including 13 other counties originally selected as finalists in the program. That would add Tippecanoe County to the mix before most other counties.

House Bill 1129 and Senate Bill 344 suggest funding the extension through the state lottery administrative fund.

Education Commission of the States

The new year brings a fresh start, and nobody is more aware of impending changes than families in Allen, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties.

Indiana’s first preschool pilot program begins in those four communities in January, when an anticipated 450 low-income four-year-olds will head off to school for the first time.

Indiana Youth Institute

Next month, the state will begin its pre-kindergarten pilot in four counties. It’ll add a fifth pilot county later in the year.

Indiana Youth Institute President Bill Stanczykiewicz says the term “pilot” is a bit of a misnomer, though.

He sat down with WBAA News Director Stan Jastrzebski to talk about advocating for early childhood education, but says it’ll likely be decades before the state can truly know if pre-k is making a difference.

Rachel Morello / http://indianapublicmedia.org/stateimpact/

The state’s new preschool pilot program, On My Way Pre-K, launches in January in four of the five pilot counties.

State Now Taking Applications For Its Pre-K Pilot

Nov 12, 2014
Nicole Mays / flickr.com/photos/mnicolem/295019550

Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration began accepting applications Wednesday from providers interested in participating in the state’s pre-k pilot program, at the same time the department announced a new name for the program.

“On My Way Pre-K” is the moniker state officials chose for Indiana’s first state-funded pre-kindergarten program.