Three Kentucky school districts are sharing a $450,000 state grant to expand preschool programs.
Owensboro, Daviess County and Ohio County will each get $150,000 to upgrade preschool offerings, especially for at-risk children.
Cheston Hoover is director of district programs for Ohio County Schools. He says the school district is partnering with Audubon Area Head Start to give more children a solid educational foundation.
“We’re a very large county and in some of the communities within our county, the child care, preschool, early education services are pretty limited. And so we’re looking to expand one of those from a half-day to a full day.”
That expansion will be at the Horse Branch Elementary preschool program. Hoover says part of the funding will be used to add a staff member in the classroom and a recruiter to identify more eligible children.
“There’s lots of research that shows that full day Head Start and preschool benefits the child academically and socially. It’s also a benefit for parents to where their child can receive those services throughout the school day and not have to find another service for either the first or second half of the day.”
Owensboro will add a new full-day preschool class at Estes Elementary.
Daviess County Public Schools will partner with the Owensboro Family YMCA to expand preschool services to children who don’t speak English at home and those in foster care.