Seattle Preschool Program Opens Applications
SEATTLE (March 15, 2019) – Today, the Seattle Preschool Program announced the release of its 2019-20 application cycle and celebrated the expansion of 250 additional spots for Seattle’s 3 and 4-year-olds for next school year.
In the first year of the Families, Education, Preschool and Promise Levy, the Seattle Preschool Program is expected to serve 1,750 children by the end of this school year, providing free or affordable access to high-quality preschool in more areas of the city. New classrooms will continue to increase the geographic diversity of the program, with a focus on providing more capacity in regions of the city with the highest demand. With the start of the new levy, Seattle Preschool Program will be accessible to all 3 and 4 -year-olds, regardless of income.
Seattle Preschool Program enrollment is expected to grow by 65 percent over the next seven years and serve over 2,500 children by the end of 2025-26.
“To help close the opportunity gap, we must do all we can to make sure all children in Seattle come to kindergarten ready to learn. Access to high-quality preschool is one the best way to address inequity in education and in every community in Seattle,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Thanks to Seattle’s support for our Families, Education, Preschool and Promise plan, more three and four-year-olds will have access to high-quality preschool. We must work together to put more young people on a path to good-paying jobs and create a more affordable future for our children.”
“As the beneficiary of programs like the Seattle Preschool Program, I know the transformative power that quality early learning plays in a child’s life,” said Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez (Position 9, Citywide). Parents who enroll their three and four-year old children in the City’s quality preschool program means their children will be ready for kindergarten. I am thrilled to lead the Seattle City Council’s ongoing commitment to early learning by expanding the Seattle Preschool Program to reach more of our City’s underserved children to close the opportunity gap before it even starts.”
“Thank you to Seattle voters for continuing and expanding the Seattle Preschool Program. As the daughter of a professor and once a Head Start teacher, education was always an important pillar in my household. All kiddos should have a quality education beginning in preschool where children learn about community and the basic learning blocks for the years ahead,” said Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide). “Access and opportunity to early learning means that working parents have the ability to be in the workforce, know their kiddos are learning and growing, and promotes equity.”
“High-quality preschool gets children ready to start school and has long-lasting positive effects in their lives,” said Department of Education and Early Learning Director Dwane Chappelle. “Thank you to Seattle votes for supporting Seattle’s commitment to affordable, high-quality preschool throughout the City”
In 2014, Seattle voters approved Proposition 1B (Ordinance 124509) to fund a four-year pilot of the Seattle Preschool Program, currently serving 1500 children. In 2018, Seattle Voters approved Proposition 1 (Ordinance 125604) to continue funding for an additional seven years of the program, along with investments in K-12, Health and post-secondary. The Seattle Preschool Program helps prepare children to enter kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed. Research shows that children who attend high-quality preschool programs have better academic and life outcomes; they’re more likely to have better grades, graduate, attend college, get a job, have higher lifetime wages, and better mental and physical health.
Applications are now open for all Seattle 3 and 4-year-olds whose birthday is on or before August 31, 2019. Programs are offered through our community-based providers, Seattle Public Schools and family child care. Specialized programs for dual language and special education inclusion are also available. Visit seattle.gov/applyspp to check out our new sites and apply to the Seattle Preschool Program.