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County receives more funds for preschoolers

The Columbian
Published: July 9, 2014, 12:00am

State funding is adding 1,350 new preschool slots for the 2014-15 school year. Clark County children will receive 144 of those slots in high-quality, full-day preschool, with 108 new slots granted to Educational Service District 112 and 36 new slots to Innovative Services NW.

In all, the state will offer preschool to more than 10,000 children in the 2014-15 school year, according to Department of Early Learning.

Children spend about 6 hours per day in full-day preschool programs. An extended-day option of 10 hours or more will allow working families to keep children in a quality preschool program all day.

The Legislature increased the per-slot funding to $7,579. About 97 percent, an average of $7,331 per slot, goes directly to communities to benefit children and families.

State-funded preschool is slated to become a statutory entitlement in the 2018-19 school year due to House Bill 2731, passed during the 2010 legislative session. Then any child who meets eligibility standards will be able to enroll.

Children are eligible if their families are at or below 110 percent of federal poverty level (annual income of $25,905 for a family of four).

For details, visit www.del.wa.gov.

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