The Austin Area Research Organization (AARO), together with E3 Alliance, has been working with a group of committed business and civic leaders who believe that one of the best investments we can make is to ensure children are ready for Kindergarten when they enter school. Our regional data shows that children who attend a pre-K program are far more likely to be ready for school than children who stay home or with a relative. We know that in Central Texas not every child who could attend a pre-K program is enrolling. For this reason, regional leaders are supporting a pre-K enrollment initiative focused on getting the ~ 2,000 eligible children in our region who are not enrolled to be registered and attending pre-K in Central Texas. We know from the data that enrolling them in pre-K will not only increase their readiness and avoid later interventions, it will save our region $30M over their lifetimes for each year’s cohort of four year olds who attend pre-K!
This is not a broad billboard or advertising campaign; we are looking for just ~2,000 specific families. We want to reach them through programs and service providers who they already know and use and trust. We are working with a team of dozens health professionals and social service agencies and nonprofits to get the word out to eligible families so they can register for pre-K in their district.
One unique way local health professionals are supporting this is effort is by providing families whose young children are not currently enrolled with a “prescription” for a local pre-K program, complete with contact information for local school districts. The prescription is written in both English and Spanish so that it can be useful to as many families as possible.
If you’re interested in helping with our pre-K enrollment initiative, please contact Laura Koenig, Director of School Readiness, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about how parents can prepare their young children for school, please explore E3 Alliance’s School Readiness Parent Guide.