Fiscal Year 2016 → Question 56
BUDGET PAGE REFERENCE: 4-49
The Division of Early Childhood Programs and Services has a comprehensive program that uses media, community forums and events, and collaboration with a wide range of agencies to ensure that eligible children enroll in our prekindergarten and Head Start programs. The division screens families that apply for enrollment in the prekindergarten and Head Start programs based on their children’s age and family income eligibility based on Free and Reduced Price Meals (FARMs) criteria. All age and income eligible children whose parents request a prekindergarten experience for their child are placed. However, participation in prekindergarten programs for 4-year-old children is not mandatory and currently, there is no data that is readily available to capture how many prekindergarten students are not being served by MCPS.
Eligible children may not enroll in prekindergarten and Head Start classes for a variety of reasons. Some children are enrolled in private child care programs using Women, Infants and Children child care subsidy vouchers provided by the state. Other children are in home child care settings or in informal child care arrangements based on their families’ child care needs.