PRE4CLE Reports Jump In Cleveland Preschool Attendance

Stock photo of a woman reading a book to a group of preschoolers.
PRE4CLE has increased preschool availability by 65 percent in Cleveland, according to the programs five-year report. [Monkey Business Images / shutterstock]

Kindergarten-readiness program PRE4CLE has grown significantly over its relatively short life so far, according to its five year report released this week.

"We are really happy to see that we have almost 5,000 children now in high-quality preschool in the city of Cleveland, and that is a 72 percent increase from where we started five years ago," said executive director Katie Kelly.

More than 19,000 children have attended a high-quality preschool in Cleveland since PRE4CLE began, and 24 of Cleveland’s 34 neighborhoods have seen an increase in high-quality preschool enrollment.

The percentage of Cleveland children in a high-quality preschool increased from 24 percent to 43 percent in those five years, Kelly says. The program’s new goal is 50 percent by next year, which will require a combination of improving preschools and spreading awareness.

"[The preschools] have great early-learning supplies in their classrooms and they have a lot of outreach to families among other quality markers and so we have a lot of programs that are well on their way to that," Kelly said. "We also have new programs opening and one of the largest enrollment campaigns we've ever done over the next year."

Nearly 70 percent of Cleveland children who spend a year in a PRE4CLE classroom are starting kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed, according to the state Kindergarten Readiness Assessment.

Local elementary classrooms are already seeing a positive difference in how prepared their students are for kindergarten because of PRE4CLE, according to Cleveland Metropolitan School District Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon, who is also co-chair of PRE4CLE’s governing body, the Cleveland Early Childhood Compact.

“Every parent wants their child to be successful, and one of the best ways to ensure success is being ready for kindergarten so that your child is not catching up for his or her whole career,” Gordon said in a press release. “Early childhood education is the single best way to make sure your child is ready.”

Kelly also discussed the report on ideastream’s Sound of Ideas Wednesday.

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