Early Learning Hub awarded Preschool Promise funds

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Parents of Douglas and Klamath County preschoolers will have more educational options for their children in September, as a result of Preschool Promise funds announced March 16 by the Early Learning Council in Salem.

The South-Central Oregon Early Learning Hub, which serves about 9,700 children in three counties including Douglas, was one of five regional hubs awarded funds to implement Preschool Promise this fall. Preschool Promise is an early childhood education pilot program that will support children and families living at 200 percent of the poverty level.

Oregon Department of Education officials have not announced the total funds to be awarded. The amount is expected to be determined by early April.

Once the contracts have been negotiated, preschool providers who are part of the regional hubs will be notified if they are included in Preschool Promise. These may be family-based, center-based or offered through public schools. Douglas ESD will announce which sites will be part of Preschool Promise in April.

Gillian Wesenberg, director of the South-Central Oregon Early Learning Hub, said “The Preschool Promise awards will ensure more high-quality early learning opportunities for preschoolers. Participating sites must be licensed and will undergo a quality rating system that indicates level of performance to standards.”

She said the hub’s selection demonstrated that the Early Learning Council “was impressed with the breadth of the partnerships we can bring to the table.”

The South-Central Oregon Early Learning Hub has been part of Douglas Education Service District since July 2014. The hub pulls together resources focused on children and families in its service area.

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