More than a dozen new counties now eligible for On My Way Pre-K program

File photo.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced 15 more counties can now participate in the On My Way Pre-K program.

The Indiana General Assembly expanded the program earlier this year. It makes prekindergarten available to 4-year-olds from low-income families in 2018.

The following counties have been added: Bartholomew, DeKalb, Delaware, Elkhart, Floyd, Grant, Harrison, Howard, Kosciusko, Madison, Marshall, Monroe, St. Joseph, Tippecanoe and Vigo.

Those counties join Allen, Jackson, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties, who have used the program since 2015.

“Eligible Hoosier children who start at the back of the line now have an opportunity to move ahead when enrolled in a high-quality pre-kindergarten program,” Governor Holcomb said. “A strategic investment now to expand state-funded prekindergarten for children from low-income families is an essential investment we must make in Indiana’s workforce and our state’s future.”

“We at FSSA already know from the two years we have spent managing the five-county pilot of On My Way Pre-K that children who begin the program are some of the most educationally needy in our state, yet they make higher gains than their peers in important aspects of school readiness such as language comprehension, early literacy, executive functioning and a reduction in behavior problems in the classroom,” said Indiana Family and Social Services Secretary Dr. Jennifer Walthall. “We hope the expansion of On My Way Pre-K will double the number of Hoosier children receiving these important benefits.”

HEA 1004 required that consideration be given to counties that are primarily rural. Counties were also required to secure a community contribution of a minimum of five percent of the state’s total investment in that county’s program.

Find more information about On My Way Pre-K here.