Preschool Demand Greater Than Availability

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Dozens of children in Harrisonburg are on a waiting list for the city's preschool program.

About 250 4-year-olds have been divided among Harrisonburg City Public Schools' 15 preschool classrooms.

Students have to meet certain at-risk criteria to qualify for the city's preschool program.

"There isn't enough room right now because of space, Our elementary schools are really full right now so space is a problem and funding is a problem" said Sharon Shuttle, the early learning service coordinator for Harrisonburg City Public Schools.

Twenty to 25 extra spots may open up if Harrisonburg qualifies for more funding next year.

In 2013, Of the 447 students that entered kindergarten in Harrisonburg City Public Schools, 250 attended preschool provided by the city, 87 attended a private preschool, and 110 did not attend any preschool.

Shuttle said preschool helps prepare children for kindergarten and for those not in preschool, she recommends reading to them to prepare for kindergarten.


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