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Pima County sets aside $13M to help families in need pay for preschool

Wings On Words preschool
Posted at 6:44 AM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 09:47:51-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — At Wings On Words preschool kids let their imagination soar.

"Early childhood education is essential for all children," said Wings On Words Preschool Director, Amy Baum.

Baum said she sees the positive impact of starting school at a young age.

"By getting a great foundation from the very beginning, children have the chance to be able to succeed academically and developmentally from the time they start all the way through getting jobs when they get older," said Baum.

Wings On Words is one of 170 Southern Arizona preschools to give out scholarships to children in need ahead of the Fall. Pima County and several other local jurisdictions set aside $13 Million for the Pima Early Education Program Scholarships or "PEEPS". Their goal is to offset the high cost of early childhood education.

"Preschool is expensive," said Pima County Supervisor in the 5th District, Adelita Grijalva.

Grijalva said preschool tuition can range from $700 to $1,000 per month.

"If you have three children and two of them are preschool aged, how do you navigate that? Your full-time job would go to preschool," said Grijalva.

Pima County predicts they will be able to help 1,245 children, ages 3 to 5, attend preschool for free.

"We hope to see more things like this down the line. All children deserve excellent early childhood education," said Baum.

To qualify for a scholarship, a family must have a household income at, or below, 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

To learn more about the application process, click here.