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Preschool Promise Enrollment Shows Growth


The Oregon Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) launched a new data dashboard demonstrating positive trends around the strong growth of Preschool Promise Program. The data shows thousands of families across the state are successfully accessing free, high quality preschool. Preschool Promise is a preschool program serving children ages 3-4, in a variety of early learning settings, in all 36 Oregon counties. The program is available to families who are living at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. For a family of four that amounts to a yearly annual income at or below $60,000.

“Preschool Promise is helping to ensure that families with young children have preschool options that align with the learning environment they know will work best for their child and their family,” said DELC Director Alyssa Chatterjee. “I’m pleased to see the strength of the program reflected in the data. These aren’t just statistics, each data point on the graph represents families positively impacted by the Preschool Promise program.”

“Here in Medford, many families would be unable to attend our program without Preschool Promise funding,” said Sunny Spicer, Executive Director at Oregon Center for Creative Learning. “For many families, receiving that funding is the turning point to stability. Each day, I see the transformational impact that access to preschool provides to families. It’s the key to find employment, the pathway to housing, or the doorway to the services they have been seeking.”

Previously, the Preschool Promise program faced challenges with utilization during the pandemic when a child care provider workforce shortage created significant enrollment challenges for public preschool programs. Today, with the launch of DELC’s in-house procurement office, the data shows strong improvements and a positive trajectory in expanding the number of grantees and the number of preschool slots filled statewide.

The success of the program would not be possible without Early Learning Hubs that enroll children with grantees. This “mixed delivery model” spans across more than 300 sites in a variety of settings. Schools are one of the main delivery options of the program. This model reflects the unique needs of families looking for an appropriate preschool program including the need for extended hours, sibling considerations, culturally responsive care, or a preference for home based setting.

“Every family should have the access to free, culturally responsive preschool programs that meet their family’s needs,” said Dayna Jung, Preschool Promise Manager. “Preschool Promise engages parents as partners in their child’s learning and development. I’m thrilled to see the data reflect how impactful this program is. This dashboard increases transparency and allows the public to spot trends and see how we are working to establish inclusive, welcoming environments for all families.”

The interactive Preschool Promise data dashboard helps to illustrate the broad need for child care across the state with maps that include county based information. Additional dashboards for other high quality DELC programs including Oregon Prenatal to Kindergarten are in development. To see the current dashboards, please visit the DELC website: Department of Early Learning and Care : Data and Research Homepage : Data : State of Oregon

In addition to the data dashboard, the agency also recently announced a new opportunity for providers interested in Preschool Promise. A Request for Applications (RFA) for the Preschool Promise program went live this week for the 2024-2025 program year. The agency welcomes applications from interested entities across the state to reallocate a total of 358 slots. Additionally, DELC is offering eligible applicants the opportunity to be placed in the Preschool Promise applicant waitlist pool for all 16 Early Learning Hubs to be considered when future slots become available. Materials must be received by 5:00p on June 17, 2024. To read more about the opportunity, or to learn more about Preschool Promise eligibility and enrollment please visit the Preschool Promise page on the DELC website.

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