Bill Seeks to Restore Funding for Preschool Open Doors Program

March 16, 2015, 3:47 PM HST · Updated March 17, 3:03 AM
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PATCH or People Attentive to Children is a statewide childcare resource and referral agency. Image courtesy PATCH website.

PATCH or People Attentive to Children is a statewide childcare resource and referral agency. Image courtesy PATCH website.

By Wendy Osher

Program administrators of the Good Beginnings Alliance will join supporters at the State Capitol on Tuesday to advocate for a restoration of funds for early childcare in Hawaiʻi for low-income families.

The non-profit organization is asking lawmakers to restore safety net funds that currently help 1,287 low-income families gain access to childcare in the state.

Child care providers and beneficiary families are advocating for the passage of SB64 SD3,  a bill that seeks continued funding for the state’s Preschool Open Doors program and for subsidies of the program.

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The program currently provides subsidies with priority consideration to low-income families to send their late born five-year-olds to preschool.  Students served for the 2014-2015 school year include those who were born between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, 2009.

The program was established in 1990 under Governor John Waihee.

Administrators say the program stands to lose $6 million in funding from year before levels if funding is not restored.

The bill was introduced by Senator J Kalani English of Maui and is scheduled to be heard before the House Committee on Human Services on Tuesday, March 17, 2015.

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