School Readiness: What We Need to Do To Get Kids “Ready By Five”

Back • Publication Date: April 1st, 2008

Authors: Cyd Oppenheimer, J.D.

Downloads: Download #1

Connecticut’s School Readiness initiative enables children to enter kindergarten ready to learn. While the state has made real strides in expanding access to preschool to those who cannot afford it, the program still lacks the capacity to serve about 12,000 eligible children; it is meeting less than half the total need for high quality, affordable preschool. It is also clear that school readiness providers are unable to expand their capacity without an increase in reimbursement rates. The rates, however, are less than they were in 1997 (in inflation-adjusted dollars). Building capacity will require: a) increasing reimbursement rates with annual cost-of-living adjustments; b) removing the cap on funds received by Competitive School Districts so that all poor children, regardless of where they live, can access high-quality preschool; and c) maintaining the School Readiness funding at least at the level approved last Session for Fiscal Year 2009.