State lawmakers want to help pay for some low-income families to send their children to preschool .
Proposed House legislation would set aside $7 million over each of the next two years for about one thousand three year olds and four year olds to attend a preschool program. To be eligible, family income would have to be 185 percent of the federal poverty level or less, incorporating more people than the federal Head Start program.
Speaker Brian Bosma says there are an estimated 81,000 Hoosier children who fit that description but funding all of them would be too costly this soon.
“Prudence dictates that we put our toe in the water and study it and be sure that it’s an effective program, that it, in fact, does meet the goal of preparing otherwise unprepared children for kindergarten and first grade,” he says.
And Bosma says the money would be for children to attend high quality preschools that use age appropriate curricula. Bosma says he hopes the pilot program will use both public and private preschool options.