AUSTIN (KXAN) — Wednesday, some parents will spend the day getting their children ready for an early start on their education.
Parents and guardians can register their 3 and 4 year olds throughout the day at schools across the Austin Independent School District. This year 13 additional schools have expanded their half-day preschool program for 3-year-olds due to the positive feedback on a pilot program they did last year. The United Way also raised $215,000 to help fund the program. That means this year there are an additional 480 spaces available.
This fall, the district will provide a half-day at several of their elementary schools. AISD offiicals say Pre-K programs encourage discovery, vocabulary and thinking skills. A study by Austin based E3 Alliance found kids who were enrolled in full day pre-k were more prepared for kindergarten than students who didn’t attend pre-k.
“It’s really important that they are there from the very beginning, that the child is there on the first day of school, so that it allows them to participate in getting to know the classroom and getting to know the setup. school can be a big scary place, and being there from the beginning makes it so much easier,” said Jacquie Porter, Early Childhood Director for AISD.
AISD serves more than 83,000 students at 130 schools. For a list of the 69 sites where you can register your child, visit AISD’s website here.
Parents or guardians need to bring a current paycheck stub, proof of residence, immunization record and a birth certificate to enroll a child. While the pre-k program is tuition based – the 4 year old full day program is about $517 per month – families can qualify to go for free.