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Strong Family Demand for On My Way Pre-K Pilot Program

December 18, 2014  |  Education  |  News Release  |  Marion

More than 1,800 applications received for programs in Allen, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties

(Via Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL) has received more than 1,800 applications from families in Allen, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties who would like to enroll their 4-year-old children in the first phase of the On My Way Pre-K program beginning in January of 2015.

“I am truly grateful to the many community partners who helped us reach out to families and open doors of opportunity for quality pre-k education to 1,800 disadvantaged children in our state,” said Governor Pence. “The initial response to our pilot program confirms the need for high-quality early education for our most disadvantaged kids, and our Administration will continue to faithfully implement this program and determine how we might best serve more Indiana children in the years ahead.”

The goal for the first phase of On My Way Pre-K, which starts in January 2015, was to enroll a total of 350 children; however, with the demand being so great, OECOSL is looking to enroll 100 additional children in January for a target enrollment of 450. After a careful review of the existing capacity of the newly-approved On My Way Pre-K providers in the four counties, OECOSL will determine a target enrollment for each county by the end of this week. A randomized lottery will determine which children will be selected for the available provider slots.

"On My Way Pre-K is off to a great start. The high number of applicants in Marion County demonstrates what we've known for some time: the need is great. It has been a pleasure to work with Governor Pence, FSSA, and a broad group of community stakeholders to launch this vital program. United Way will continue to be a strong advocate for accessible, quality pre-K for all kids in Central Indiana."

- Ann D. Murtlow, president and CEO, United Way of Central Indiana

The full rollout of On My Way Pre-K, which will include these four counties as well as Jackson County, will take place in time for the start of the 2015-2016 school year and is expected to include between 1,600 and 2,000 4-year-olds in the five counties.


Families who are selected as recipients of the On My Way Pre-K grants in the randomized lottery will be notified via a letter that will be mailed by the end of this week. Next week these families will be contacted to complete the enrollment process.

These families will then be able to search for an approved On My Way Pre-K provider at or by speaking with a referral specialist at 1-800-299-1627.

The chart below shows the number of applications received and how many were deemed eligible in the four counties. Reasons some applications were found to be ineligible included that the family did not meet the income guidelines (below 127 percent of the federal poverty level), or that their child was not age-eligible for the program, many of them because they are still too young. OECOSL will keep any applications from families whose children will become eligible for the program beginning in August to process in the spring.

  Number of applications received Number of eligible applications
Allen 150 119
Lake 322 264
Marion 1,254 659
Vanderburgh 93 81
Totals 1,819 1,123

On My Way Pre-K is the name of Indiana’s first state-funded prekindergarten program, which was approved as a five-county pilot by the Indiana General Assembly in 2014. The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is a division of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA).

Contact: Kara Brooks


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