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5 years into 'PRE4CLE,' more Cleveland children enrolled in quality preschool, but more work needed

Posted at 12:50 PM, Sep 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-18 18:30:45-04

CLEVELAND — It has been five years since Cleveland launched a plan to improve kindergarten readiness. The preschool program is called PRE4CLE. The 5th annual report came out Wednesday.

They outline the highlights:

  • There has been a 72% increase in high-quality preschool enrollment since 2014. Forty-three percent of preschool-aged Cleveland kids are now enrolled.
  • There has been a 65% increase in availability. There are now 179 high-quality programs in the city.
  • Also, nearly 70% of the kids who spend a year in a PRE4CLE classroom are kindergarten ready, according to a state assessment.

Research shows access to early-childhood education increases a child's chance of graduating high school.

Parents need to look for degreed teachers in preschool classrooms, a low teacher-to-student ratio, a research-based curriculum, and need to engage your child at home with their learning.

Those are all things PRE4CLE focuses on in its mission, as well as connecting families to the right program for them.

"Preschool affordability is definitely an issue for many families,” said Katie Kelly, executive director of PRE4CLE. “There are a lot of financial resources available in Cleveland.”

She said parents can go to their website and look at what programs they may be eligible for. Parents can also search for high-quality programs in their neighborhood that meet their needs.

“We encourage families to do that and really find the right preschool for their child," said Kelly.

PRE4CLE has fallen a bit short of its enrollment goal. Those with the progarm are now working towards the goal of having half of all Cleveland’s children enrolled in high-quality preschool by 2020.