The Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) is seeking additional preschools to join the program for 2016-17 school year. The Department of Education and Early Learning, which launched SPP’s first cohort of 15 classrooms this fall, will be accepting applications from providers to nearly triple the program to 39 classrooms next year.
“Quality preschool is changing the lives of three- and four-year-olds,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We will continue to expand this opportunity for more kids, opening the door to preschool for all Seattle families, regardless of income.”
Approved by voters in 2014, the Seattle Preschool Program is a levy-funded universal preschool demonstration project currently serving 280 children. SPP preschools receive funding from the City, intensive instructional coaching and training for their teachers, and access to teacher education and facility improvement funding in order to offer high-quality early learning opportunities to Seattle’s youngest students. SPP classrooms provide well-paid and highly trained teachers, offer a research-based curriculum and is free or affordable for families.
“We are pleased that a group of such dedicated preschool practitioners joined us this year as pioneers in the Seattle Preschool Program,” said Monica Liang-Aguirre, director of the Department’s Early Learning Division. “Together we have learned a great deal about how to make this program work for providers and families and we look forward to an even better experience in our second year. SPP is a wonderful opportunity for improving educational opportunities for all of our students and we look forward to welcoming a new cohort of preschool providers to SPP to further develop our program.”
Preschool centers and schools interested in participating must be able to dedicate at least two classrooms to the program, be located within Seattle city limits, licensed by the State of Washington, and rated a three or higher under the State’s Early Achievers rating system.
A panel of early learning experts, City staff, and community education advocates will review the applications and determine which preschools will be selected to join the Seattle Preschool Program in the fall of 2016.
Applications for becoming an SPP preschool will be available on the Department of Education and Early Learning’s website: www.seattle.gov/education. The deadline for submitting applications is December 14, 2015. Selected providers will be announced in early 2016.
City staff will be available to explain the application process and answer questions at information sessions on November 17 at the Seattle Public Library at 10548 5th Avenue NE and on November 20 at the library at 2821 Beacon Avenue South.
Applications for families with preschoolers interested in participating in next school year will be available by March.