The Mauimama Just got a shout out from Good Beginnings Alliance. With the starting age of kindergarten raised to 5 years-old in Hawaii many families have really needed the financial support for one extra year in preschool…
We need your help to ask Governor David Ige to include $6 million in his supplemental budget request to the State Legislature to continue the same level of funding for the Preschool Open Doors Program.
“Hawaii’s Preschool Open Doors program (POD) should be celebrating its 25-year anniversary assisting low and moderately low-income families afford childcare. Instead POD funding is in jeopardy of being significantly cut from its current level, which could result in a loss of subsidies that provide childcare for nearly 1,050 families of which almost half are single parent households.
Childcare in Hawaii is generally the second largest expense in family budgets after housing costs, averaging about $8,000 per year. For children under two-years old, that cost is generally much higher. The average income of families qualifying for POD is $2750/month for a family of four. The average POD award is $540/month for one qualifying 4-year old child. Children under age four are no-longer eligible for a POD award.
POD subsidies help parents go to work or pursue higher education or job training. POD provides children with the opportunity to be in a childcare setting that exposes them to stimulating cognitive, social and emotional development prior to entering kindergarten. Children who attend childcare or preschool are more prepared to enter kindergarten. Without this program, many more at risk and underserved children will lack comprehensive school readiness for kindergarten.
Please sign this petition to the Governor’s Office to let him know how critical this program is to our most vulnerable families.”
Mahalo for your help!