Applications for On My Way Pre-K Now Being Accepted in Five Pilot Counties

State to partner with Indy Preschool Scholarship Program in Marion County

Indianapolis (January , 2016) – Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL) is now accepting applications from families in the five pilot counties who may be eligible for grants for their children to receive high-quality, prekindergarten education through the On My Way Pre-K program starting in August of 2016.

Families residing in Allen, Jackson, Lake and Vanderburgh Counties must meet the following eligibility criteria to apply:

In Marion County, the same criteria apply as those listed above. However, the City of Indianapolis is providing additional funding in Marion County through its Indy Preschool Scholarship Program (Indy PSP). And while families can apply to Indy PSP and On My Way Pre-K using a single application, the Indy PSP funding will add eligibility in Marion County for children who are 3 years old and are from families living at or below 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

It is important to note that first priority will be given to children from families living at or below 127 percent of the Federal Poverty Level for On My Way Pre-K.

Once a child has received a grant, families in all five counties will choose from any of the eligible, enrolled On My Way Pre-K programs. OECOSL has enrolled 225 On My Way Pre-K providers in the five pilot counties, and the application process is ongoing. In order to qualify, the program must be top- ranked at level 3 or level 4 on Paths to QUALITY or be accredited by an approved national or regional accrediting body (Click here for details on provider eligibility).

Applications will be accepted until March 25, 2016. If more families qualify than there are grants available, awards will be made through a randomized lottery process. This lottery will be held on or around March 28, 2016, and families will be notified if they receive a grant.

Approved pre-K programs may be located in a public or private school, licensed child care center, licensed home or registered ministry as long as that program meets the quality requirements and is registered as an On My Way Pre-K Provider. Families may choose from a program that is full-day or part-day, as well as from programs that end with the school year or continue through the summer. A list of approved pre-K providers can be found here. Families who need help finding an approved pre-K program can also call 1-800-299-1627 for assistance from an early learning referral specialist.

More than 2,300 children who will begin kindergarten in August of 2016 are currently participating in the first full year of On My Way Pre-K, which began in Allen, Jackson, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties in August of this 2015. Previously, 400 children participated in the first cohort of the program, from January through June of 2015.

On My Way Pre-K is the name of Indiana’s first state-funded prekindergarten program, which was approved as a five-county pilot by the Indiana General Assembly in 2014. For more information, visit www.onmywayprek.org.

The Indy Preschool Scholarship Program (Indy PSP) is the City of Indianapolis’s first ever preschool program that provides free scholarships for children from low-income families to attend quality preschools. Indy PSP is partnering with On My Way Pre-K to expand access to preschool for families in Marion County. The United Way of Central Indiana will provide program administration support by managing the application, outreach, and evaluation processes. Visit www.indypsp.org for more information.

The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is a division of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA).