Early Learning Action Network Scores with a Big Boost in First-Class Pre-K Funding

Last month, Governor Kay Ivey announced that the Alabama First Class Pre-K program will add 96 new classrooms across the state this coming fall. The addition will be made possible by the $22.5 million increase in state funding approved earlier this year by the Alabama Legislature.

This expansion of First Class Pre-K sites will enhance vitally important early learning for more than 26,000 children in the upcoming school year and put them on a path to long-term success.

Recent research from PARCA has shown that students who attend the First-Class Pre-K Program in Alabama are more likely to be proficient in math and reading; and the academic benefits persist through the middle school years. Past research has also shown that First Class Pre-K participants demonstrate higher readiness for kindergarten, are less likely to be chronically absent and are less likely to be held back a grade.

This expansion will result in a new total of 1,481 First Class Pre-K classrooms statewide and moves us closer to achieving Alabama’s goal of serving 70% of eligible four-year-old children.

The Bold Goals Coalition is proud to announce that eight of these newly awarded classrooms were members of the Early Learning Action Network’s cohort for childcare centers, which supports childcare centers throughout the process of completing their First-Class Pre-K applications.

For the past several years, the Early Learning Action Network has helped local organizations open 26 new First Class Pre-K classrooms, providing more than 460 slots every year for children in Central Alabama to participate in the country’s highest quality pre-K program. The Early Learning Action Network is supported by numerous Bold Goals partners, including Childcare Resources, Alabama School Readiness Alliance, Success By Six and many others that continue to help us reach our local and statewide goals in early education.

For more information on this network, please contact Madeline Cottingham at madeline.cottingham@uwca.org.

The Bold Goals Coalition is 200 organizations solving big community problems by aligning partners, resources and agendas.