Universal Pre Kindergarten
Universal Pre-kindergarten Program
Act 166 of 2014 provides for universal access to publicly funded prekindergarten education. All public and private prekindergarten education programs, including Head Start and public school operated programs, must meet specific requirements to operate a PreK program in Vermont. The Agency of Education, in collaboration with the Agency of Human Services, created administrative rules to guide Act 166 implementation.
RNESU has an established Pre-K Region that is approved by the Agency of Education and defined by the supervisory union’s geographical boundaries. RNESU offers universal Pre-K in our elementary schools and Pre-K choice is available throughout the district, allowing families to access any approved program within RNESU boundaries. In addition to RNESU Pre-K school based offerings, our Pre-K region is designed to support a partnership between the school district and eligible private prekindergarten education programs. RNESU has contracted with Rutland Parent Child Center in Brandon and a partnership with a private child care provider to offer an integrated child care/Pre-K program at Otter Creek Academy at Whiting school to offer our families a Pre-K education paired with all day child care.
Any child attending preK within our SU towns in an approved center is automatically eligible for a tuition subsidy.
If a parent is unable to access a qualified pre-kindergarten program in RNESU, they may request a voucher. The school board is not obligated to grant the voucher. The type of voucher that is likely to be approved is due to lack of capacity; family preferences tend not to be a reason for a voucher if there is capacity remaining in the programs in the region.