$4.3M Approved for Pre-K Expansion in Maryland

- FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. - In April, Governor Martin O’Malley announced an initiative to drive up the number of children entering kindergarten fully ready to learn. 

As part of the Governor’s Office Pre-Kindergarten Expansion Act of 2014, $4.3 million in funding is now available for 24 providers in Maryland.

“It's an opportunity for the community to allow children who normally wouldn't be able to go to preschool to expand their horizons to close the educational gap,” said Joy Fountain, director at The Learning Bee in Frederick County. 

The State is partnering with local providers and school systems to expand high-quality full and half-day pre-k to nearly 1,500 children.

“Every child in Maryland deserves to be able to climb the ladder of opportunity towards success,” Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown said in a press release.

The Learning Bee in Frederick County, Md., is one of the grant recipients. They said they’ll now be able to add an extra Pre-K class and take in 20 eligible children this school year.

“This grant is specifically for children who are income eligible, that would be 300 percent below the poverty level, so all the funds are going for those 20 children to make sure they have a high level education,” said Cindi Webb of The Learning Bee.

The Governor’s office said the overall return on investment on general economic activity is predicted to be 8.7 times the amount invested.

“When you’re in a Pre-K program, you're getting the building blocks, the very foundational basics that will stay with you when we’re talking about reading, writing and math skills. We’re taking about how to be a student, be in the classroom, and work with the teacher and other students,” said Michael Doerrer, a spokesperson for Frederick County Public Schools.

Garrett and Washington Counties are also receiving funding from the state for pre-kindergarten. If you’re child is eligible, classes at The Learning Bee start in just three weeks on August 25th. More information on The Learning Bee is available online. 

For a list of the total funding in Frederick, Garrett, Washington or other counties in the state are receiving click here.

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