Educational and Family Need
In short: Students and families face financial barriers to education
In detail: Currently, fewer than half of 3- and 4-year-olds in the MCCSC community are enrolled in preschool programs. Primary barriers are cost - up to $8,500 annually for a quality PreK program - and a shortage of available slots.
Expanding early childhood opportunities matters because the importance and benefits of quality education are well documented and include:
Economic Need: Family & Business Community
In short: A lack of affordable and quality PreK programming limits families’ earning power and deprives employers of needed talent
In detail: In addition to meeting unfunded needs for families, the Family-Centered & Community-Focused initiative offers economic benefits for the MCCSC community. While quality early childhood services do exist now, expanding these services in an affordable way would open additional employment options for parents of preschool-age children. This, in turn, could boost family incomes, provide additional talent for local employers and attract new employers to Monroe County, as evidenced by these relevant statistics:
Among parents of students in Indiana’s Pre-K pilot program
According to the Bloomington 2021 Census, individuals with children under 6 years old had a labor participation rate of only 74.4%, compared to an 83.6% rate for individuals with children ranging in age from 6 to 17 years.