Pre-K applications now available in Allen, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties


By Lesley Weidenbener

INDIANAPOLIS – Families in four of the five counties that are part of a state pre-kindergarten pilot can now sign up to receive a grant for the program.

Children eligible for the first phase of the pilot will include 4-year-olds living in Allen, Lake, Marion or Vanderburgh counties who will start kindergarten in the fall of 2015. The counties will start with limited programs in January serving about 400 children.

Jackson County is also part of the pilot but the program there won’t be available until fall 2015. Eventually, the pilot program is expected to serve roughly 2,000 students in the five counties.

To qualify, a student’s family must have household income of no more than 127 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of three, that’s no more than $25,133 per year.

The state’s Office of Early Education and Out-of-School Learning will take applications through Dec. 15. A few days later, the state will use a lottery process to determine grant recipients if there are more qualified applicants than slots. Families will be notified if a student receives a grant.

Parents of children who receive grants can choose from a list of eligible, enrolled On My Way Pre-K programs. Approved pre-K programs may be located in a public or private school, licensed child care center, licensed home or registered ministry as long as that program meets the quality requirements and is registered as an On My Way Pre-K Provider.

Families may choose from a program that is full-day or part-time, as well as from programs that end with the school year or continue through the summer. A list of approved pre-K providers will be made available in December and posted online. Families who need help finding an approved pre-K program can also call 800-299-1627 for assistance from an early learning referral specialist.

To apply in Allen County click here.

To apply in Lake County click here.

To apply in Marion County click here.

To apply in Vanderburgh County click here.

For instructions on how to complete the application click here.