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Pre-K school year is nearly here — especially in Taliaferro County

Pre-K classes are starting soon
Pre-K classes are starting soon(WRDW)
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 2:43 PM EDT
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CRAWFORDVILLE, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - School bells will ring sooner for prekindergarten students in Taliaferro County than for those elsewhere in Georgia, with the first day set for Monday.

The start of the pre-K year will vary based on school system, but it ranges from as early as Monday in Taliaferro County to as late as the week of Sept. 6 in Murray and Webster counties.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-21 school year saw a decline in pre-K attendance from more than 80,000 to approximately 60,000. During the pandemic, Pre-K providers could offer classes in-person, virtually, or a hybrid. This year, classes are expected to return to the more traditional in-person format.

“Research shows that the early education of children from birth to age 5 is critical to their success in kindergarten and elementary school,” said Amy M. Jacobs, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

For families enrolling their children in pre-K, Adams offered these tips:

  • Send your child to school in clothes they can manage independently in the bathroom.
  • Make sure your child’s shoes are comfortable for playtime: No flip-flops or tennis shoes with Velcro.
  • Visit the classroom before school starts so children are familiar with the new surroundings.
  • Tell your child’s teacher about any fears they may have.
  • Discuss any special dietary needs or allergies your child may have with the teacher and ask her/him to explain program policies relating to children’s allergies.
  • Complete necessary forms or releases.
  • Locate the bathroom with your child and determine special bathroom routines the school observes.
  • Allow extra time for the first day: Make sure you have time to say goodbye.
  • Ask if your child can bring a familiar blanket for rest time: Can they bring a favorite stuffed animal?
  • Send a family photo in your child’s backpack in case they get lonely.

Across the river in South Carolina ...

Thousands of children in South Carolina now have access to state-funded, full day, 4-year-old kindergarten after South Carolina’s General Assembly allocated $37 million to South Carolina First Steps and the state Department of Education.

This increase in funding will allow more than 4,000 children to enroll in First Steps 4K.

Before now, 41% of the state’s at-risk 4-year-olds lived in a ZIP code that disqualified them from full-day, state-funded 4K.

Families can enroll their child in any of the 244 private, nonprofit, or faith-based child care centers or schools participating in the program. The majority of First Steps 4K providers offer eight-hour days and year-round instruction, including summers, at no cost to parents.

Enrollment is now underway. Families can apply online at www.free4ksc.org.

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