INDIANAPOLIS — Parents in Indiana can now sign up their children for the state’s On My Way Pre-K program. 

The grant-based program provides access to free, high-quality, pre-kindergarten education for four-year-old Hoosiers from low-income families.

Your child is eligible for the 2022-2023 school year if they will be four years old by August 1, 2022 and plan to go to kindergarten in the 2023-2024 school year.   They must live in a household with income below 127% of the federal poverty level with parents or guardians who are working, going to school, attending job training, or searching for employment. 

According to Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning, pre-K helps children develop important social and learning skills that prepare them for kindergarten and beyond

“Some of the primary things that children learn is how to be socialized, how to speak for themselves, they learn how to get along with each other and how to interact with other kids, simple things like shared play and standing in line and that sort of  thing,” explained Marni Lemons, a spokesperson for Indiana Family Social Services Administration.

A record high of nearly 4,800 students enrolled in the program in the 2021-2022 academic year.

“We expect even higher numbers this year and we’re really hopeful and so far the early sign ups make it look like that’s going to happen. I think people are coming back to life post-pandemic and are ready to see their children get a good start and get in school and are less uncertain about the things they were uncertain about in 2020,” Lemons added.

There will also be limited enrollment for children who live in households with incomes up to 185% of the federal poverty level. 

These children must also have parents or guardians who are working, going to school, attending job training, searching for employment OR receive Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits.  

Once a family is approved for a grant, they can choose any approved On My Way Pre-K program provider. You can see a list of providers at www.ChildCareFinder.IN.gov