Mayor Martin J. Walsh has announced a $15 million investment to expand access to free, high-quality pre-kindergarten classroom seats for all 4-year-olds in Boston through Boston’s Quality Pre-K Fund, which will support the creation of 750 high-quality seats in Boston’s nationally recognized pre-K programs in Boston Public Schools (BPS) and in community-based organizations.
“There is no better investment we can make than providing our children with a strong foundation of learning from an early age.”- Mayor Martin J. Walsh.
What does high-quality pre-K mean?There are more than enough preschool classroom seats for 4-year-olds in Boston, but that does not mean all of them fit our definition of high-quality pre-K, which is:
- All pre-K teachers have a degree in early childhood education, are prepared to teach in “inclusive” classroom settings to support students of all backgrounds, and earn the same starting salary as a Boston Public Schools teacher.
- Students learn from the Boston Public Schools Focus on K1 Curriculum and Building Blocks Curriculum, which are national models in early childhood education.
- All classroom environments are age-appropriate, and culturally responsive.
- The classroom ratio is 2 educators for 20 students.
- The program is accredited by a national early childhood accrediting body, and meets other accountability benchmarks.
Where is Universal Pre-K Boston provided?
Universal Pre-K Boston programming is provided in the Boston Public Schools along with numerous community based organizations. By offering pre-K through a citywide, mixed-delivery system, we can guarantee every 4-year-old in Boston a high-quality pre-K experience in a setting that works for their child and their family.
How many high-quality pre-K seats are available?
Since Mayor Walsh took office, his administration and BPS have cut the “high-quality pre-K seat gap” in half — from 1,500 to 750. The Quality Pre-K Fund will close the gap of the remaining 750 seats over the next five years. Currently, there are 3,191 K1 (pre-K for 4-year-olds) seats in BPS and community based organizations.
Why invest in pre-K?
Investing in quality early education leads to better scholastic outcomes. The BPS early childhood education program is play-centric, highly developmental, and leads to long-term academic gains for students with some of the most substantial impacts seen nationally. Research shows BPS pre-K students outperform those who do not attend pre-K on the state MCAS assessments in third and fifth grade.
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