Free pre-K expands statewide, spots still open

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Free pre-K just expanded statewide in Indiana, and spots are currently open.

Ivan Caudle says his 4-year-old grandson, Aiden is learning right now.

“He knows ABC’s, 1 to 100,” Caudle said, referring to Aiden.

For Caudle, pre-K is top of mind.

“We’re trying to get him in pre-K right now,” Caudle explained.

A change in state law is allowing more Hoosier families do the same. State lawmakers decided to expand On My Way Pre-K beyond a handful of counties.

“On My Way Pre-K is a program to make sure children have access to high quality prekindergarten services,” Maureen Weber, President and CEO of Early Learning Indiana said Wednesday.

Now, all of Indiana’s 92 counties can be part of the program. Early Learning Indiana has the program at nine locations in Marion County. They have more than 100 spots open right now.

“Now is the absolutely perfect time to be applying to those services,” Weber explained. “We know that children that have access to high quality pre-K will show up more ready for kindergarten.”

The program is income-based, and free if you qualify. Your child must be 4 years old by August 1.

“They meet an income requirement of less than 127% of the federal poverty level,” Weber said. “Then that family has a service need, because the family members are either working, attending school or in job training.”

Caudle likes the idea of statewide pre-K

“I think that’s pretty good,” Caudle said.

Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration has an application if you’d like to apply for free pre-K anywhere in the state.

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