Pre-K program signups begin


Low-income families in Jackson County planning to send their children to preschool in the fall can now apply for On My Way Pre-K.

Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is accepting applications through Aug. 1 for the 2018-19 school year.

Applications are available in English and Spanish at

The state-funded program currently serves 94 children at 13 sites throughout the county. The number of sites will decrease to 12 next school year as one provider is not renewing its On My Way Pre-K eligibility, said Erica Woodward, the On My Way Pre-K project manager for Jackson County.

“We are looking to serve about the same amount of children as last year,” Woodward said.

Families must have an income below 127 percent of the federal poverty level, children must be 4 years old by Aug. 1 and parents or guardians must be working, going to school or attending job training in order to be eligible for the preschool grants.

Once the family has met eligibility requirements and has been awarded a grant, they may choose from any of the On My Way Pre-K programs available in the county. Students are guaranteed no less than 53 weeks, or one full year, of preschool services.

Grants will be awarded until all available slots have been filled, so families are encouraged to apply early.

“It’s first-come, first-served,” she said.

Approved programs may be located in public and private schools, licensed child care centers, licensed home day cares and churches. There are approved sites in Seymour, Brownstown, Crothersville and Medora.

“Jackson County has always operated its On My Way Pre-K program very well,” Woodward said.

To be qualified to accept On My Way Pre-K students, preschool providers must be rated Level 3 or 4 by the state’s voluntary Paths to QUALITY rating and improvement program through the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration or be accredited by an approved national or regional accrediting body.

A Level 3 out of the four levels means the school will implement or already has a curriculum in place that supports children’s learning and school readiness.

Families can search for approved providers at or can get assistance finding a program by calling 800-299-1627.

On My Way Pre-K was approved by the Indiana General Assembly in 2014 as a pilot program to provide quality early childhood education to low-income Hoosier families.

Just five counties were selected to participate with Jackson County being the smallest and only rural county.

The program began in the fall of 2015 and was expanded to 20 counties in 2017, including Bartholomew County.

Woodward covers Jackson, Bartholomew, Floyd and Harrison counties.

Evidence from a study being conducted by Purdue University shows children in On My Way Pre-K gained skills at a higher rate than their peers, including language comprehension, early literacy and a reduction in behavior problems in the classroom.

“The feedback and research conducted thus far is consistent with the conclusion that On My Way Pre-K has the potential to improve lower income 4-year-olds’ early learning skills and readiness for kindergarten,” Woodward said.

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Brownstown Christian Church Daycare Ministry and Preschool, 812-358-1702

God’s Lil Blessings, 812-528-2391

Brownstown Elementary School, 812-358-3680


Crothersville Elementary Preschool, 812-793-2622

Miss Crystals’, 812-524-2264


Medora Elementary Preschool, 812-966-2201


Child Care Network Preschool at Margaret R. Brown Elementary School, 812-524-2585; Emerson Elementary School, 812-216-3630; and Seymour-Redding Elementary School, 812-216-3630

Lord’s Lambs Preschool, 812-522-7804

Terri’s Playhouse, 812-523-5197

Zion Lutheran Preschool, 812-522-5911

Registration can be completed online at or a paper application is available at all On My Way Pre-K providers.

For information, email Erica Woodward at [email protected].


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