Studies have shown that students who went to preschool have higher rates of achievement later in school. It's also believed that preschool has a positive effect on children’s social and emotional development.
But the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has identified several areas of the state where families don’t have access to quality preschools. The state has applied for a grant through the U.S. Department of Education to expand the state’s program in these high-need areas. Missouri is competing with 16 other states for the Preschool Development grant, which will be awarded by the end of December.
KBIA’s Hope Kirwan sat down with Stacey Preis, Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Early and Extended Learning, to talk about Missouri’s need to expand preschool education.