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Pima County Supervisors approve preschool scholarship funds for families in need

Childcare is more expensive than college tuition
Posted at 10:14 PM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 01:29:56-04

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted to approve preschool scholarships to assist families in need.

On Tuesday, the board voted 4-1 to approve a plan that will administer up to $10 million in County funds, along with nearly $3 million from cities, towns and other partners to aid families in paying for high-quality preschool for nearly 1,300 children.

Below includes what the plan entails (it would begin July 1):

  • Partnerships with eight school districts and Pima Community College to offer free high quality preschool to approximately 480 children.
  • Partnership with First Things First, a State Agency focused on early childhood development, to offer 560 additional scholarships for quality preschools within their Quality First system (includes school districts, centers and home-based providers).
  • Partnership with Child-Parent Centers, to offer extended day Head Start preschool programs at 11 locations for 205 children.
  • And the solicitation of proposals to contract with an experienced organization to develop a 3-year implementation plan to manage and implement an ongoing preschool scholarship program, and implement the plan under the guidance of the multi-departmental oversight team.

“Successful communities support the education of their children, and I’m proud to be part of a community that is giving our children the best possible chance for success through this program,” said County Supervisor Rex Scott. “The data is undeniable – early education works. Children who benefit from early education on average do better in school throughout their careers, are more likely to graduate from high school and earn higher wages after graduation.”

The funds will help eligible families who have children ages 3-5 years old and have a house-hold income of 200% of the Federal Poverty Level or less.

In February, the board voted to approve $10 million for early childhood education. That approval was an instruction for the Pima County administrator to include the money for the next fiscal year's budget.

The plan is directed on getting the aid to families and preschool providers promptly.