March 18, 2016 4:20 a.m.
Parents of preschoolers in Douglas County will have more educational options for their children come September, as a result of Preschool Promise Funds announced earlier this week by the Early Learning Council in Salem.
The South-Central Oregon Early Learning Hub, which serves about 9,700 children in three counties, including Douglas, was one of five regional hubs awarded funds to implement Preschool Promise this fall. Preschool Promise is an early childhood education pilot program that will support children and families living at 200 percent of the poverty level.
Officials from the Oregon Department of Education have not announced the total funds to be awarded. The amount is expected to be determined by early April.
Once contracts have been negotiated, preschool providers that are part of the regional hubs will be notified if they are included in Preschool Promise. These can be family-based, center-based or offered through public schools. The Douglas Education Service District will announce next month which sites will be part of Preschool Promise.
Gillian Wesenberg, director of the South-Central Oregon Early Learning Hub, says the awards will ensure more high-quality early learning opportunities for preschoolers. Wesenberg says participating sites must be licensed and will undergo a quality rating system that indicates a level of performance to the standards.
The South-Central Oregon Early Learning Hub has been part of the Douglas Education Service District since July of 2014.