Research shows that 85% of a child’s brain development takes place before age five. By age three, children’s brains are 2 ½ time more active than the brains of adults, and they remain this way through age ten. Children who attend preschool or have access to quality early childhood education show improved kindergarten readiness, and from grades K-4, are more likely to be successful in the traditional school environment. Studies show that children who attend preschool decreases grade repetition and special education referrals, are more likely to graduate from high school and continue onto college, and are less likely to need public assistance when they are adults.
Preschool Open Doors (POD) understands the importance of a positive early learning experience. POD is a statewide early childhood education and care project funded by the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services. POD helps children go to preschool by helping families pay preschool costs for one year. Any licensed preschool may accept POD children. Preschool prepares children for kindergarten by teaching social skills and recognition of shapes and letters. It allows children to explore and discover their world in a learning environment. Children learn how to get along with others and how to work as part of a group.
Parents or Guardians are not required to have an activity (job, training, or school) to qualify, however there is an income eligibility requirement. POD has a sliding fee scale, based upon State of Hawaii child care assistance guidelines, which depend on family size and income. Families may be required to pay some of the monthly preschool costs.
To qualify for POD, your family must meet the following requirements:
1. Special Needs Four-Year Olds
First priority will be given to four-year* old children from a Special Populations Referral.
2. Second priority will be all other four-year* old children.
*Four-Year old children: child who will be four years old by December 31 in the year of the application.
3. Special Needs Three-Year Olds
Some three-year old children from special populations may also qualify if funding is available.
4. Family Income
Your family’s gross monthly income (before taxes and deductions) must be within allowable income limits. Families will be income-ranked so that available funds can be distributed to those families who are most in need of assistance.
POD funds are limited. Applications are accepted during Open Enrollment March 1st – April 30th of each year for the school year that starts the following August. You can request an application by contacting PATCH beginning March 1st. which is also when POD will post a downloadable application on our website. Visit www.patchhawaii.org to download the application or call 1-800-746-5620.
Image Credit: Regins Splees – Crossroads