This fall’s Dayton expansion, after a recent pilot program, is funded $4.3 million per year from the 0.25 percent city income tax increase paid by Dayton residents and those who work in the city.
Preschool Promise Executive Director Robyn Lightcap said the program is up to 171 applications counting both Dayton and the Kettering wing of the project, up from about 100 a month ago.
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“I think we are right on pace of where we should be on enrollment. We are starting to attract new people …” Lightcap said. “We expect that we’ll have many families sign up in August because it’s the start of the school year. Our larger partners will be enrolling their children in August and September, so we should have a firmer count by September.”
Those large partners are Dayton Public Schools, Kettering City Schools and the Miami Valley Child Development Centers, which runs Head Start programs locally. Several hundred students are expected to participate through those agencies.
But the bigger challenge is at the dozens of smaller, independent preschool providers, who are just learning the ins and outs of Preschool Promise.
“We know that we have a lot of work to do in educating our providers in how to share the message with their families,” Webster said.
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She added that outreach specialists are going to some schools at the end of the day to talk to both school directors and families as they pick up their children.
“I think we will see an influx by the end of August from the outreach team’s work this summer,” Lightcap said. “I don’t really have a number (as a goal) because it’s our first time doing this so we don’t have a good handle on it … We know that people make choices about their children from word of mouth and from references, so our best way of communicating it is through people and the outreach team.”
-At its meeting Thursday, the preschool board approved a $127,258 contract with Miami Valley Child Development Centers. The money will pay for MVCDC to hire a lead coach to work with its teachers, as well as providing training on math and reading curriculum.
-The board also approved a contract for up to $71,445 with Sparkbox to build a new Preschool Promise web site. The existing web pages are intertwined with Learn to Earn Dayton’s website and can be confusing to navigate.
-The board accepted Kettering City Schools’ contribution of $200,000 to supplement tuition and quality assistance at Preschool Promise locations in Kettering.
-Preschool Promise is in the process of hiring a full-time, paid Director of Quality, to make sure the programs that participate are providing high-level programming to students.
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