The City of Indianapolis and United Way of Central Indiana announced today that 4,967 qualified applications have been received for the Indy Preschool Scholarship Program (PSP). The program, which launched in March, 2015, was created through combined public and private sector investment to provide high-quality Pre-K access to Marion County children.
“Preschool is an important first step toward a strong education, and the Indy Preschool Scholarship Program will support thousands of Indianapolis children in taking this step,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “It’s encouraging to see such a positive response to the first round of applications, and it tells me we need to keep working to grow the capacity of this program.”
To qualify for the program, families must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- The family must have an income below 185 percent of the federal poverty level
- The family must reside in Marion County; and
- The child must be at least three, but younger than five years old by August 1, 2015.
Since more qualified families applied than existing grant awards can serve, program enrollment will be offered through a randomized lottery process to be held mid-May. Grants will be available beginning in the fall for the 2015-16 school year. United Way of Central Indiana will serve as the Indy PSP program administrator, overseeing the application, outreach and evaluation processes.
- City receives 'overwhelming' response to preschool program (Indianapolis Business Journal)
- Tully: Indy’s investment in preschool is paying off (The Indianapolis Star)
“This strong response from families who are eager to give their children the best possible start in school and life makes clear our next step,” said Ann D. Murtlow, president and chief executive of United Way of Central Indiana. “We have thousands more applications than our current funding can support. I call upon the community to join us in this effort by donating to this program so more of these 3-and-4 year olds from our lowest income families can receive quality pre-K.”
“This program serves as a shining example of what our city can do when we work together toward a common purpose,” said Indianapolis City-County Councillor John Barth. “My hope is that we continue forward in the same spirit of collaboration to grow the program and serve even more students in the coming years.”
"The number of applications received demonstrates how important this program is,” said Melanie Brizzi, Director of Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning. “We are very pleased that the City of Indianapolis has joined with Indiana’s On My Way Pre-K program by expanding this program in Marion County through Indy PSP. This will allow over 1400 low-income children in Central Indiana start school much more prepared to learn and succeed."