On My Way Pre-K deadline approaches

The registration deadline for On My Way Pre-K, the state funded preschool program, is fast approaching.

Families need to complete and submit applications as soon as possible, said Erica Woodward, the On My Way Pre-K project manager for Jackson County.

“We want families to feel a sense of urgency to apply because school is starting,” she said.

Woodward said the goal is to provide a high-quality preschool education to 92 students from low-income families in Jackson County this school year.

Children must be 4 years old to be eligible.

The deadline to register is Aug. 1, but some applications may be accepted after that date until the program reaches capacity. Registration can be completed online at onmywayprek.org or a paper application is available at all On My Way Pre-K providers, the Jackson County Learning Center or the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

Woodward was not able to share how many students have registered so far. Last school year, On My Way Pre-K served a total of 94 students at 13 approved sites throughout the county.

Families must meet income guidelines and parents or guardians must be working, going to school or attending job training to be eligible to receive the preschool grants for their children, Woodward said.

The Jackson County Learning Center in partnership with Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. is offering free Skills for Success classes at the learning center to help families qualify for the preschool funding.

“Not many opportunities such as this exist in other counties,” Woodward said of the classes. “Jackson County made that possible. It’s a win-win for the families and the kids. It shows how Jackson County works together to make things happen and that’s why this county has always been so successful with On My Way Pre-K.”

Once families have met the requirements and been approved, they may choose from any of the On My Way Pre-K program sites available in the county.

Approved programs may be located in public and private schools, licensed child care centers, licensed home day cares and churches. There are 12 approved sites in Seymour, Brownstown, Crothersville and Medora for the 2018-19 school year.

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 childcarefinder.in.gov 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 and 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 including Bartholomew County in 2017.

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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Jackson County On My Way Pre-K providers for 2018-19


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 onmywayprek.org or a paper application is available at all On My Way Pre-K providers, the Jackson County Learning Center or the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

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