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Hundreds of low-income families get free preschool education

Hundreds of low-income families get free preschool education
Posted at 6:21 PM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 20:21:10-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It’s that time of the year when parents have to decide whether to send their kids to school. The cost for a preschool education in Tucson is around $800 a month. The Pima Early Education Program, also called peeps is dedicated to lowering that cost. The program launched last year with $13 million in funding and more than 150 participating schools.

“I know that kids who come to school to us as kindergarteners that have been in a pre-K setting are very prepared both academically and socially and I wanted to make sure that all our families had that opportunity,” said Chris Trimble, Principal, Lulu Walker Elementary.

It’s goal is to create more high-quality preschools and to make them affordable for low-income families. The program helped open three preschools in the Amphitheater School District this year. As of December, PEEPs provided scholarships for 567 children. The county expects to help a total of 1,200.

“The brain is developing so much in the first five years of a child’s life," Trimble said. "We can get them in here interacting with their peers, play-based learning, developing those creativity skills, critical thinking skills. We know it sets them up for long-term academic success.”

The program also lowers the overall cost of enrollment at participating preschools. For kids without a scholarship, Imagine Preschool costs $460 a month.