Allen County is among the five counties picked to participate in Indiana's pre-K pilot program.
The program provides up to ten million dollars – along with local matching funds – to help low-income four-year-olds attend pre-kindergarten classes. Vouchers would go to families with incomes below 127 percent of the poverty line.
United Way of Allen County was selected to lead the campaign to bring the pilot here, and UWAC Director of Community Impact Jeanne Zehr says the program could serve more than 1,400 children when it’s up and running.
She says research shows early childhood education saves taxpayer money and leads to better education outcomes.
“All of this fits together,” Zehr said. “It starts with our littlest citizens, and if we invest there, it pays off in the long run with us having a stronger economy and a stronger community.”
Zehr says because so much of the groundwork has been laid by United Way and other contributing partners, the pre-k pilot program could start as soon as January 2015.