Noble County Families Benefit from On My Way Pre-K Grants, Programs

Recently, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration released the results of two studies that show children are part of the On My Way Pre-K program are better prepared for school and that the benefits continue well into elementary school.

This news comes as no surprise to East Noble Assistant Superintendent Becca Lamon, who was instrumental in launching the East Noble School Corporation’s Preschool program, one of two programs in Noble County to accept On My Way Pre-K grants for families.

“There is long standing research to support that high quality learning experiences affect life long outcomes for students,” said Lamon. “High quality preschool experiences provide students with a higher rate of vocabulary acquisition and the building blocks for future success.  Preschool programs that have obtained a PTQ 3 or 4 rating help facilitate this student success by ensuring that the health and safety of students has been addressed and have also examined the instructional strategies and curriculum choices that aid in student learning.”

With just ten families in Noble County taking advantage of the program in the current school year, Noble County’s Early Childhood Coalition Coordinator, Jenna Anderson, knows there is room for improvement. She heads Noble Thrive by 5, which is focused on capacity, affordability and quality of child care and preschool programs in Noble County.

“We know that a high-quality preschool program is important to a child’s development, not only in the short-term but over the course of their lives,” said Anderson. “We also know that there are struggling families in Noble County who could use these grants to provide their children with a great foundation for success.”

Kendallville Day Care Center and the East Noble Preschool Program (housed in Avilla School) are the only two providers in Noble County that accept On My Way Pre-K grants. Approved programs may be in a public or private school, licensed childcare center, licensed home or registered ministry as long as that program meets the quality requirements and is registered as an On My Way Pre-K Provider.

Providers interested in learning more about becoming an On My Way Pre-K program can contact Anderson at jenna@noblethriveby5 or through the Community Foundation of Noble County at 260-897-3335.

About the On My Way Pre-K Studies:

The first study released by FSSA is a multi-year longitudinal study demonstrating that children who attend the On My Way Pre-K program have stronger school readiness, language and literacy skills than their peers with similar family incomes who attend lower quality childcare or prekindergarten programs. On My Way Pre-K allows 4-year-old children of low-income families to attend high-quality early education programs for a year before entering kindergarten. The study was conducted by Purdue University researchers from the Center for Early Learning. The study revealed that the pattern of On My Way Pre-K children outperforming their peers continued through the third and fourth grades, as measured in standardized Math and English/Language Arts scores.

Additionally, On My Way Pre-K children from the 2020-2021 school year matched up positively compared to national norms established for all prekindergarten children in the first annual Kindergarten Readiness Indicators assessment, conducted by the University of Chicago.

Results of both the Purdue study and the University of Chicago study are available here.

“The studies show that Indiana’s investment in high-quality early education for the children of lower-income families is helping our youngest learners achieve at their greatest potential for years to come,” said Gov. Eric J. Holcomb. “Giving children a good start on their education pathway delivers a more well-prepared student and ultimately a ready to go workforce, both key elements to our state’s future growth and opportunity.”

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