Our History

The Montgomery County and Dayton Preschool Promise exists today because of leadership by the Montgomery County Commission and numerous local philanthropic organizations. As part of efforts to improve our region's economic competitiveness, they are committed to investing in the next generation of young people, beginning with our youngest children.

Preschool Promise traces its beginning to 2007, when advocates who had joined together under the Montgomery County Early Care & Education Initiative, formed ReadySetSoar. Its focus was on improving children's readiness for Kindergarten and their 3rd-grade reading proficiency.

For several years, ReadySetSoar worked collaboratively with Learn to Earn Dayton, which was dedicated to improving educational achievement among older children. Then in 2015-16, the organizations merged, becoming Montgomery County's cradle-to-career initiative.

Another critical transition occurred in 2016 when the City of Dayton made important history. Dayton voters passed a 0.25% income tax increase to support critical city services and to offer 1 year of affordable, quality Preschool to all Dayton families with a 4-year-old. This move institutionalized Preschool Promise in Dayton and provides sustained funding.

Dayton made this bold leap after our community successfully implemented Preschool Promise demonstration programs first in the suburb of Kettering, and then in Kettering and Northwest Dayton in the 2016-17 school year. These pilot efforts were made possible by multiple public and private funders, with the Montgomery County Commission at the forefront.

Because of the overwhelming support of Dayton voters - 56% voted "yes" for Issue 9 - Preschool Promise was expanded to all of Dayton beginning in the 2017-18 school year.

In 2017, Preschool Promise became a stand-alone 501(c)(3) organization, and is now led by a 5-member board of directors. It is fiscally separate from Learn to Earn Dayton, though it remains a close partner.

In all of its work, Preschool Promise is committed to fostering equity, recognizing that far too many African-American and Appalachian young children do not share the same advantages and privileges of many of their middle-class peers. In addition to promoting best practices for all young learners, Preschool Promise promotes targeting the Dayton community's resources to the highest-need young children.

Today, the Preschool Promise is committed to 3 priorities that were recommended by a community task force:

  • Educate the community about the power of Preschool
  • Expand the availability of high quality Preschools
  • Assist families in finding and paying for Preschool