Errington responds to announcement that Delaware County is joining pre-k program

June 7, 2017 Sue Errington

For immediate release:
June 7, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Sue Errington (D-Muncie) today issued the following statement after Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced that Delaware County will be among a group of 15 counties now eligible to participate in the state’s On My Way Pre-K program:

“Delaware County has been a staunch champion of early education, even before the state finally established a five-county pre-K pilot program two years ago.

“Through the BY5 program already in place, we have started to make progress on improving the lives of children through a series of initiatives designed to support their families, provide high-quality learning environments and promote healthy lifestyles and development. Our experience to date has shown that Delaware County is an area filled with people across a wide spectrum of professions and interests eager to help our youngest folks get a fast start on tapping their inner skills that can help them on their way to attaining the best in life.

“So we have an idea of where we need to go. However, the state grant dollars that helped get our pre-K efforts off the ground are no longer there, so joining up with the On My Way Pre-K program enables us to keep going.

“Along with the good news, there are disappointments here. Our state has waited too long to join this effort, and we still remain too timid in committing the resources available to benefit larger numbers of kids throughout Indiana. I also will note that the On My Way program carries some requirements that were not part of the earlier grant program. These requirements could prevent many previously eligible children in low-income families from participating. I’m hopeful that our local BY5 program will find a way to include them so we don’t end up hurting the very children that caused us to start the On My Way Pre-K program in the first place.

“But Delaware County still will be able to help give some of our young people a chance to succeed. There is nothing more exciting than helping children explore their gifts and grow with them, and now we can help so many more across our county.

“The benefits of early education are proven. Even in the earliest stages of On My Way Pre-K, we have found improvements in areas like language ability and literacy, as well as general readiness for school. I am hopeful that we will continue to expand and grow this program in Delaware County in the years to come.”