Mayor Walsh today announced a task force to look at ways to dramatically increase the number of kids in full-day pre-school programs by 2018.
There are currently 6,000 four-year-olds in Boston, but that number is expected to grow to 8,000 by 2030. About one-third of four-year-olds in the city are currently enrolled in the city K1 program. Another quarter attend no pre-school program at all.
According to the mayor's office, the Universal Pre-Kindergarten Advisory Committee
Will look at many factors including class space requirements, teacher qualifications, funding requirements, and potential partnerships for before school, after school, and summer wrap-around services. Thrive in 5, a partnership between the Mayor's Office and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and other community partners will conduct a series of stakeholder focus groups across Boston, and offer online surveys to gather input about the strengths and needs of all of the City’s neighborhoods for high-quality pre-kindergarten. The Advisory Committee will make its recommendations for a mixed delivery system to Major Walsh in November 2014.
The committee will be co-chaired by Jeri Robinson, vice president for education and family learning at the Boston Children's Museum and Jason Sachs, director of early childhood, Boston Public Schools.