PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) today announced the 2022-2023 opening of the lottery for state-funded RI Pre-K programs. RI Pre-K, entering its 14th year, provides free, high-quality Pre-K education to eligible 4-year-old children across Rhode Island.
“Access to high-quality early learning is a matter of equity and opportunity for the young children in our state,” said Governor Daniel McKee. “For over a decade, the RI Pre-K program has provided a free, full-day, full-school year program that leads the nation in quality. The program is a testament to the strength of our early learning mixed-delivery system. I encourage all families with eligible children to enter the lottery for RI Pre-K.”
Currently Rhode Island has 127 RI Pre-K state classrooms in 18 communities across the state, serving more than 2,300 four-year-old children.
“Starting their learning journey at four years old can set children up for life-long success in school,” said Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “We strongly encourage every parent with an eligible child to enter the lottery to get a seat in a local high-quality early education program. RIDE is dedicated to helping children get a strong start and offering even more opportunities for early learning in the coming years.”
RI Pre-K programs are awarded through a competitive grant application process that evaluates the organization’s demonstrated ability and experience to provide a high-quality early childhood program and a commitment to continued quality improvements using a mixed-delivery model comprised of Head Start programs, local schools and community-based child care providers.
Funding for RI Pre-K seats and quality supports includes several Federal grants, including the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER), the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Age 5 (PDG B-5), and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act Child Care Development Block Grant Direct Award funds.
“The Department of Human Services is proud to partner with RIDE to support RI Pre-K in the mixed-delivery system,” said Yvette Mendez, Acting Director of the Rhode Island Department of Human Services. “By delivering RI Pre-K through community-based organizations, Head Starts, and public schools, the RI Pre-K program strengthens our birth through age five early learning system as a whole and provides increased choice for families.”
As a testament to Rhode Island’s commitment to providing high quality early learning opportunities for children, Rhode Island was once again recognized as a national leader in quality Pre-K by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for 2020.
RI Pre-K consistently meets all 10 of the NIEER quality benchmarks ranking us as one of the nation’s top states for preschool quality standards. For more information visit the NIEER RI Pre-K Yearbook and the full report at NIEER State of Preschool.
RI Pre-K is accepting applications from families with four-year old children living in one of these 18 eligible communities: Bristol-Warren, Central Falls, Coventry, Cranston, East Providence, Johnston, Middletown, Newport, North Kingstown, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, South Kingstown, Warwick, Westerly, West Warwick, and Woonsocket.
To be eligible to attend, children must be 4 years old by September 1, 2022,and be residents of one of the identified RI Pre-K communities.
For more information on the 2022-2023 RI Pre-K Programs and the lottery application process please visit our RIDE RI Pre-K Page.
Families may contact the RIDE Pre-K team at RIPre-K@ride.ri.gov with any questions.
Online applications are due by 11:59 pm on July 6, 2022.