With only a few days remaining to register children before the school year starts, low-income families in Harrison County must act now to see if they are eligible for high-quality preschool education for their 4-year-old children, at no charge, thanks to the On My Way Pre-K (OMWPK) program. Applications are still available for families whose children will be 4 years old by Aug. 1 at onmywayprek.org. Now is the time to act as space is limited, and school starts soon.

The On My Way Pre-K (OMWPK) program, which is funded through Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration, will fund 53 weeks of free child care that includes free preschool for Harrison County children who live in households at or below 127 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). OMWPK providers can provide before and after school care and summer child care with no cost to the families of children in the OMWPK program.

Children who participate in preschool and child care through the OMWPK program are more likely to have appropriate motor skills and social adaptation abilities, and they will be better prepared for kindergarten.  Research shows children who are adequately prepared for kindergarten consistently do better in school and beyond.

Families who want to enroll their 4-year-old children in a free preschool program are required to apply for funding online at onmywayprek.org. Paper applications are available at all OMWPK providers, the Harrison County Community Foundation (HCCF), Harrison County Community Services and the Harrison County Public Library branches in Corydon, Elizabeth, Lanesville and Palmyra. Once a family submits an application, River Valley Resources, the agency managing the OMWPK application process, will contact the family to review information and determine eligibility.

Children’s families who apply for and are denied OMWPK funding may still qualify to receive FREE, full-day preschool through HCCF’s Jump Start program. This program serves children who will be four years old by Aug. 1 and whose families are up to 200 percent of the FPL.

Harrison County families with preschool children will be able to choose from numerous providers in the OMWPK and Jump Start programs. Blue River Services administers preschool programs at the Morgan and North Harrison elementary schools and Rainbow’s End Child Care Center. The South Harrison Community School Corporation will provide preschool programs at the Corydon, Heth-Washington and South Central elementary schools.

In addition to the providers already listed, Noah’s Ark Preschool in Ramsey and St. Joseph Catholic School in Corydon are also OMWPK and Jump Start providers. Also, Tiny Treasures in Corydon is an OMWPK provider and St. John’s Lutheran School in Lanesville is a Jump Start provider.

To learn more about or apply for the OMWPK program, visit onmywayprek.org, call River Valley Resources toll free at 812-949-4381 or email leslie@rivervalleyresources.com. Contact a provider, or contact HCCF at 812-738-6668 for more information about the Jump Start program.

School will be starting soon, so do not miss the opportunity to enroll your child in free, high-quality, full-day preschool.

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