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Cuyahoga County Council Reauthorizes Over $2.5 Million For High Quality Preschool Across County

12/5/2013

Additional $2 Million In Expected Investment Fulfills Levy Promise To Prioritize Our Youngest Citizens

For Immediate Release
5 December 2013
Contact: Trevor McAleer
(216) 698-6472
tmcaleer@cuyahogacounty.us

Cuyahoga County Council, working to prioritize early childhood education, has recently authorized an additional year of funding for more 25 preschool providers across Cuyahoga County. This reauthorization supports the County Health and Human Services levy promise to support Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK).

Cuyahoga County’s UPK funding ensures that all three, four, and five year olds enrolled in participating programs are receiving care and educational opportunities that support kindergarten preparedness. These high quality programs are grounded in the principles of parent and family engagement, and they are held accountable for meeting rigorous standards, which produce students who are ready and eager to learn, setting the stage for future academic success.

Councilman Julian Rogers applauded the Council’s efforts, “It has been proven time and time again that the first 5 years of a child’s life are incredibly important to establishing lifelong learning habits. Every child in our community should have the opportunity to start school ready to learn and prepared for a lifetime of success.”

It is estimated that within Cuyahoga County more than 25,000 3-5 year-olds do not participate in formal pre-kindergarten programs and across the county thousands of children are identified as being behind their peers even before they start kindergarten.

Council President Ellen Connally also expressed her support for the continued funding, “Our youngest citizens are the future of our community and we must do everything we can to make sure they receive the best early education we can give them in order to prepare them to be the students and workforce of tomorrow.”

Nearly two thousand children rely on these Health and Human Services dollars to prepare them for the challenges of formal education. County Council is excited to renew this funding to continue to support efforts to provide free, high quality preschool programming to county families earning up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level.

In addition to the reauthorization of existing programs, Council is expected to further increase Universal Pre-Kindergarten funding by another $2 million over the next two years. This additional Health and Human Services allocation will be put to a vote at the next Council meeting on December 10, 2013. Increased funding will provide opportunities for hundreds of additional children to participate in high quality pre-kindergarten programs across Cuyahoga County.

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