Reported by Joshua Richardson
July 9, 2021
DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF) -- Dayton has set the standard for preschool nationally, a local educator said Friday, at the announcement of the expansion of Preschool Promise.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and others gathered at On Purpose Academy to announce that preschool is now available to all Dayton 3-year-olds, in addition to 4-year-old.
Whaley said that the city initially expanded to 4-year-olds following a 2016 earnings tax increase, which voters approved. Now, the city is among one of just a couple dozen cities in the nation to provide preschool to 3-year-olds.
Robyn Lightcap, executive director of Preschool Promise, said they are excited for the expansion.
"As Mayor Whaley said, we've had this vision since the beginning," Lightcap said. "We know that one year of preschool is fantastic, and more years of high-quality early education is even better."
She encourages Dayton residents to enroll their 3- and 4-year-olds now. Visit preschoolpromise.org or call/text 937-329-2700 to enroll.
Kim Jarvis, the executive director of On Purpose Academy, said Dayton has set the standard now, transforming a community by changing how our children learn.
"We want crime to decrease, we want people to do better financially. We start with education, and we start with 3-year-olds," Jarvis said.
Jarvis said expanded preschool will help children learn how to get along with friends better, to play better, interact with others, and transition to kindergarten.
She called the expansion huge, and a change for an entire group of families.