Applications are now being accepted for a free prekindergarten program from the Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission.
The program was launched last year to help families who can’t afford preschool give their keiki an early education.
“We know we’re doing fantastic things, and we know that investing in kids early on before they’re five pays a lot of dividends in the end,” said Yvonne Lau, SPCSC interim executive director, “and we’re paying less on the back end, because we’ve got great kids, great engaged families, and fantastic outcomes to come.”
The program is available to children who are four years old with birthdates on or between Aug. 1, 2011 and July 31, 2012, and whose family income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines for Hawaii.
Applications for the 2016-2017 school year are currently being accepted at six public charter schools, though the program will eventually expand to 18 schools:
- Laupahoehoe, Laupahoehoe, Hawaii Island
- Ka ‘Umeke Kā‘eo, Hilo, Hawaii Island
- Ke Kula ‘o Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u Iki, Kea‘au, Hawaii Island
- Na Wai Ola, Volcano, Hawaii Island
- Kualapuʽu, Kualapuʽu, Molokai
- Kamaile Academy, Waianae, Oahu
The program is fully funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Preschool Development Grant.
Twenty students will be accepted at each school with the following application deadlines:
- April 1, 2016, at 3:30 p.m. HST (first selection)
- May 6, 2016, at 3:30 p.m. HST (second selection)