Preschool often conjures up images of storytime, finger painting, and pretend play, but it also includes important introductions to basic educational concepts, as well as valuable experience inside a classroom with peers. Not only are these activities fun for a child, but they allow for critical development, as evidence shows preschool provides the building blocks for success later in life.
Preschool is preparing kids for kindergarten and beyond, but unfortunately, many Toledo children are behind. Based on 2019 KRA scores, 80 percent of Toledo’s children enter kindergarten not ready to learn. And once they’re behind, it can be tough to catch up to their peers.
That’s why a recent announcement from a Toledo nonprofit is such great news for the community. The new HOPE Toledo Pre-K Inaugural Preschool Project will allow more four-year-olds to have access to high-quality preschool.
A strong start, a brighter future
Research shows kids who enter kindergarten ready to learn are more likely to pass third grade reading tests, eighth grade math tests, graduate from high school, go on to college, and earn more income over their lifetimes.
John C. Jones, president of HOPE Toledo, announced last month the organization’s partnership with nine community-based preschool providers to offer high quality, full-day, affordable preschool to more than 200 four-year-olds in Toledo.
“We are truly excited to see our vision begin to come to fruition through our partnerships with these nine partner providers,” Jones said. “And this is just the start as we look to bring more providers on board in order to fulfill our mission – that every Toledo child has the opportunity to attend a high-quality early childhood educational program that prepares them to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.”
The initial nine providers are All 4 Kids, Believe Academy, Catholic Club, Children’s Discovery Center (Talmadge location), East Toledo Family Center, Learning Ladder Child Care Center, Rise and Shine Childcare Academy and Toledo Day Nursery.
HOPE Toledo Pre-K is working to provide an opportunity for every Toledo child to attend a high-quality preschool. This means a preschool program with a comprehensive curriculum that includes basic education, as well as important social and behavioral skills. The latter involves working in groups, practicing listening skills and learning to respect teachers and classmates. High-quality preschools have professionally trained and well-compensated teachers. They also have smaller classrooms with small student-teacher ratios, and active parent engagement.
High-quality preschool also needs to be affordable, so HOPE Toledo Pre-K offers tuition assistance on an income-based, sliding fee scale. The preschools also provide routine developmental assessments, regular evaluations and program oversight and accountability.
Another factor in a high-quality preschool program is full-day instruction, which enables parents to work, knowing their children are cared for in a safe, engaging environment.
Classes coming soon
Enrollment is open and currently available online. Classes are slated to begin September 1, 2021, but there is still plenty of time to register your child for the upcoming year. You can find more details and easy registration information here.
Starting your child in a preschool program today sets them up for success tomorrow. And there’s nothing more valuable than that.