Preschool Promise heads into second year, questions still remain about the program's effectiveness

Posted at 4:30 AM, Aug 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-14 10:11:23-04

CINCINNATI -- With one year of Preschool Promise in the books, organizers are looking to make positive changes to the program which tries to increase the readiness of kids headed to kindergarten.

“We had to put a lot of infrastructure in place,” Cincinnati Preschool Promise Executive Director Shiloh Turner said. “Everything from our board of managers to our staff to all the systems that it took to enroll families and children.”

Preschool Promise is funded by a levy which was approved by voters in 2016. Parts of the annual budget help pay for preschool for families that can’t afford it.

“Three- and 4-year-olds, 200 percent federal poverty level and below that live in the Cincinnati Public Schools footprint,” Turner said.

So far, more than 1,300 kids enrolled, and they’re working to help more than 30 preschool providers increase their state quality ratings. They must have a three, four, or five star rating to be a Preschool Promise provider. 

“Over the last six months we’ve gotten three providers that were unrated to a four or five star,” Turner said.

Ohio State early childhood researchers are evaluating the program to determine whether all of this is working and preparing kids for kindergarten.

“They have child assessments that they do, classroom observations, things of that nature,” Turner said.

Preschool Promise will present their findings for the first year next month. An additional assessment of the first class of Preschool Promise students will come out in January.