Parents on board with plan to increase funds for Pre-K program

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 11:16 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) -

On Tuesday the Governor announced a $400 million dollar plan to expand access to state-funded preschool programs in Michigan.

The Great Start Readiness Program would allow thousands of four-year-olds to enroll in early education.

Daniela Hopkins is a local teacher and has a toddler of her own.

She says daycare itself is expensive and plans to sign up for the Michigan’s Great Start Readiness Program if it becomes available.

“Early development is so important for establishing norms for kids anyways and learning how to do, I mean there’s things I can do at home, but obviously that social interaction that more structured piece, that’s something that has to happen at school and that has to happen at those preschool programs,” said Hopkins.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the program is aimed at providing access to preschool services for all eligible children to lower the educational achievement gap between low and high income households.

“My goal has been to wrap our kids with the support they need to get close the, you know, meet their academic needs,” said Governor Whitmer.

The plan proposes an additional $405 million dollars over three years. To offer tuition-free at state-funded pre-school programs for four-year-olds.

Shanise Ollie is a mother of three boys Kingston, Jase and August.

August didn’t get the chance to go to preschool for a full year due to the pandemic. Ollie says she can see the impact of what no pre-school can do.

“That preschool, there’s that person hired and trained to help young people learn how to read and look at letters and numbers and colors. And so, with him missing that he’s behind, so he’ll be going into kindergarten a little behind,” said Ollie.

Governor Whitmer says right now an estimated 65 thousand four-year-olds are eligible for Great Start and Head Start programs. But only 43-thousand are enrolled.

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