The state Department of Education may use a classroom rating system to decide which groups qualify to run state-supported prekindergarten programs.
And some child care centers in low-income areas say the ratings could prevent them from participating.
Lawmakers this year started the state’s first foray into preschool, a pilot program that will be implemented in three phases with up to $33.9 million from the state.
During legislative debate, child care providers lobbied successfully to remove a requirement that limited participation to those centers with a Quality Rating and Improvement System score of 3 or above, with 5 being the highest.
Under the rating system, only 61 of the state’s more than 1,700 licensed child care centers would meet standards to operate a prekindergarten program, said Debbie Ellis, who co-chairs the Mississippi Child Care Coalition that represents 200 child care providers and advocates.
- Lt. Gov. Reeves connects Pre-K funding to shipbuilding during visit to Ingalls. (mississippipep.wordpress.com)