Lansing School District Announces Tuition Free Pre-K Program
Finding childcare is already a stressful time for parents, figuring out how to afford it while also finding the place you can trust to give them the best early education is an added layer to all of it. That's where the Lansing School District is hoping they can help.
Childcare Costs In Michigan
We'll say now, there is a difference between childcare and pre-k. However, career resource website, Zippia, broke down the average income it takes to afford childcare in each of the 50 states and Michigan falls pretty much dead-center.
In order to figure this out, they first looked at advice from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that say "daycare should amount to no more than 10 percent of a household’s budget."
From there, Zippia says they applied another flat rate of 14.6% to account for taxes taken from workers' paychecks and then determined what the maximum salary in each state would be to make their average childcare costs amount to no more than that recommended 10%.
When it came to Michigan, they found the average cost of childcare for one child to be $10,281 annually, meaning the average annual income to be able to "reasonably" afford it would be around $117,820.
Why This Move By Lansing Schools Matters
Looking at the figures for childcare alone, it is reasonable to deduce that pre-K education for children is not too far off.
Michigan does have programs to help parents and children get the best foundation for their education early on, programs like the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP).
According to Michigan.gov, it is a state-funded preschool program for children who are four years old and are living with factors that "may place them at risk of educational failure."
However, because this is an income-based program which Ingham ISD says "Eligibility for GSRP requires that family income is below 250% of the federal poverty guidelines with priority given to children based on family income."
That means some parents who may be just over that line, do not qualify for the program and that is where tuition-free pre-k programs like in Lansing Schools can be of assistance.
Lansing School District's Plans
According to WILX, Ben Shuldiner launched universal pre-K for the district in just his first month as superintendent.
"When families send their kids to public school and they see how good they are, they start to really care not just how their children do but how all children do," he said. "What we’re looking forward to is this is the beginning of a rebirth of a relationship with the Lansing School District and the Lansing community."
According to WILX, the program is available for ALL children who live in Lansing and turn four years old before December 1st. Enrollment for families opens on July 28th where WILX says there will also be a registration event from 3 PM to 7 PM at the Eastern High School Football Complex.
From there, classes will be starting on September 16th and will be held four days a week in 14 schools district-wide.
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