Scholarships available for pre-kindergarten

About 70 pre-K scholarships from the state Department of Education are still available for families in Mower County.

Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature invested $40 million in early learning scholarships during the 2013 legislative session to expand access to high-quality early learning for low-income families. For Mower, Olmsted, Rice and Winona counties, more than $3 million was made available through pre-k scholarships over the biennium, giving more than 600 children access to early learning.

High-quality early childhood education is the foundation of all children’s success in school and helps to reduce achievement gaps. It also generates a significant return on investment; studies have shown that for every dollar spent on early childhood education, the state saves up to $16 by reducing spending on things like remedial education, special education and grade repetition. There are also added benefits to society; children who get a high-quality start in school go on to earn higher incomes and be more productive adults.

To see if your child is eligible for an early learning scholarship, contact your local school district or regional scholarship administrator, Child Care Resource and Referral, at 1-888-450-2773. To locate a Parent Aware rated program in your area, visit the Parent Aware website at http://parentawareratings.org. For more information on MDE’s early learning scholarship program, visit http://education.state.mn.us and select Early Learning under the Just for Parents section.

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