PRE4CLE is a plan to ensure all of Cleveland’s children can enroll in a high-quality preschool program that helps build the academic and social skills necessary to be successful in kindergarten, school and life.
Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools, a plan to fundamentally reinvent public education in Cleveland, specifically called for a plan to expand and support high-quality preschool education across the city.
The Cleveland Early Childhood Compact is a group of organizations and individuals who represent early childhood development, education, civic, business, labor, government and philanthropy. They came together to develop an implementation plan, called PRE4CLE, to provide Cleveland’s 3- and 4-year-old children with high-quality preschool experiences that help build the academic and social skills they need to be successful in kindergarten, school and life. It is chaired by Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon and Marcia Egbert, Senior Program Officer for Human Services at The George Gund Foundation – a true public-private partnership.
PRE4CLE provides resources and strategic leadership to accelerate the availability of high-quality preschool, by increasing quality, expanding high-quality preschool slots, and connecting families to high-quality preschool opportunities.
For providers, PRE4CLE provides connections to professional development, teacher education, and technical assistance opportunities to strengthen their quality. PRE4CLE also partners with high-quality providers to increase expansion and support outreach to parents.
For families, PRE4CLE is raising awareness about the critical importance of high-quality preschool, and connecting families with the tools and resource to find the right preschool for their child.
PRE4CLE’s high-quality preschool partners have:
All PRE4CLE preschool partners also have at least three out of five stars from Ohio’s Step Up to Quality Rating systems.
Research shows that high-quality early childhood education helps establish a foundation to ensure kids are ready for school, better behaved and get along better with other children in school. When all young children have high-quality early learning and development experiences, the long-term economics of a community improve because children graduate high school, go on to college or career training, and have better paying jobs. For more information on the impact of high-quality preschool in Cleveland, see PRE4CLE’s annual report.
PRE4CLE is funded by a mix of existing and new public and private funds. Current funders include the Cleveland Metropolitan School District; Cuyahoga County; corporate contributions and philanthropic support. PRE4CLE also builds on the existing funding available to preschool children through federal Head Start, child nutrition and child care funds, and state public preschool expansion funds.
Starting Point and the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County (ESC) are the two lead organizations implementing the PRE4CLE Plan. Both organizations were selected through a request for proposal process by The Cleveland Early Childhood Compact. Starting Point and the ESC report to the Cleveland Early Childhood Compact.
High-quality preschool depends on high-quality providers. Providers that wish to partner with PRE4CLE must have at least three out of five stars on the state’s Step Up to Quality rating (SUTQ) system. PRE4CLE works across the full spectrum of early childhood settings: public preschools, Head Start, private preschools, private childcare providers and home-based care. Partnering with PRE4CLE is voluntary for any preschool provider in Cleveland.
PRE4CLE focuses on increasing the number of 3, 4, and 5-star rated programs in Cleveland.
For providers that want to improve their quality ratings, PRE4CLE connects them to financial assistance, information on research-based curriculums, new classroom tools, professional staff development and opportunities for increased teachers’ salaries.
Preschool providers who partner with PRE4CLE have access to many resources, including financial support for expansion, potential tuition assistance for eligible families, access to professional development for staff, marketing and outreach for their programs, and connections to other supports and partnerships.
PRE4CLE connects parents and families to high-quality preschool programs in their communities that have space available for their children. When families see the PRE4CLE logo at a preschool, they know that their child is learning in a safe and supportive environment, with well-trained, professional staff, and a research-based curriculum.
By 2016, PRE4CLE aims to have at least 2,000 additional children enrolled in high-quality preschool settings. As PRE4CLE’s work continues, the ultimate goal of PRE4CLE is to ensure that every child in Cleveland enters kindergarten ready to succeed.
The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) prepared analysis of the current state of preschool education in Cleveland and its problems and challenges. PRE4CLE used this research to establish benchmarks to measure success. To evaluate the success of the plan, PRE4CLE will track overall availability of and enrollment in documented high-quality preschool programs in Cleveland and at the neighborhood level; track kindergarten readiness of children enrolled in high-quality preschool programs; and measure social and emotional growth of children in high-quality preschool programs.