Increasing Access to Quality Early Childhood Education
Delaware County currently exhibits the 2nd highest cost of childcare in the state. At an average of $10,731 each year, it is more expensive to send a child to high-quality childcare than to pay for one student’s annual tuition at Ball State University.
Studies show that quality early childcare builds the foundation of a child’s success later in life—even through adulthood. BY5 is dedicated to ensuring all children in Delaware County under the age of 6—currently more than 7,000—have access to affordable, high-quality care.
With these rising childcare costs in Delaware County, there’s an evident need for affordable, high-quality childcare in the community. That’s where On My Way Pre-K comes in. The state-funded program provides free pre-school education to eligible 4-year-olds in Indiana
BY5 has been Delaware County’s lead agency for On My Way Pre-K since January 2018. By working closely with partner organizations throughout the community, BY5 has been able to provide free pre-school to more than 95 kids in Delaware County.
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Delaware County’s On My Way Pre-K Providers
Delaware County’s On My Way Pre-K program currently boasts 25 diverse childcare providers, including childcare centers, home daycares, and four elementary schools in Muncie. Having a wide variety of sites allows families to choose the pre-school education program that best fits their needs and desires.
All of these childcare providers are ranked as Paths to QUALITY Level 3 or Level 4 care centers. Paths to QUALITY is a statewide ranking system of early childhood care and education programs, with Levels 3 and 4 being the highest possible rankings a center can earn—Level 4 programs even receive national accreditation. Since 2014, the number of Level 3 and 4 programs in Delaware County has more than doubled, and BY5 hopes to see that amount continue to grow.