HB 3380: Mixed-Delivery Preschool
In 2015, the legislature allocated about $27 million for a program that could offer preschool to Oregon children who otherwise many not have access to early learning tools that set them up for future success in school. One third of those dollars supported Oregon Head Start Pre-Kindergarten to serve children on waitlists for fall 2015. The remainder of funds will go to this innovative program, Preschool Promise, a mixed-delivery preschool model. With this model, it should enable about 1,400 children to have access to preschool beginning in fall 2016.
“Mixed-delivery” means that licensed child care providers, Oregon Head Start Pre-Kindergarten programs, school-based preschool programs, and Community-based organizations will be eligible to provide preschool services through this program. Early Learning Hubs will play an important role, too. Funding will flow through the Hubs, they will identify the needs of underserved populations, and partner with early learning programs within their community to provide the preschool services. Through Hub coordination of a mixed delivery model, greater awareness and collaboration across settings will support Oregon’s goal of ensuring high-quality preschool opportunities for all Oregon children. Families whose income is up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Line will be eligible for the preschool.
Below are some of the key features of this program that are specified in HB 3380:
- Children that are 3 or 4 and living in families up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Line are eligible to participate.
- The Early Learning Hubs are the applicants for funding and responsible for identifying the providers who would deliver the preschool program in their community.
- Schools, Head Start programs, child care providers and Community-based Organizations are all eligible to provide preschool services under this bill and to receive funding for providing these services (through their local Early Learning Hub).
- All preschool providers must have achieved a 4- or 5- star-rating on the QRIS.
- Requires lead teachers to have a bachelor’s degree or a submitted plan for attaining one.
- Directs Early Learning Council to establish a salary scale for participating preschool teachers.
- Directs Early Learning Council to identify resources to develop, support and sustain the preschool program, including evaluation, professional development opportunities, technical assistance, monitoring and guidance to ensure pathways and supports to increase culturally and linguistically diverse preschool staff.
There will be a one-year implementation phase, with the new preschool programs enrolling children in the fall of 2016.