Georgia Pre K Programs

Georgia Pre-K: A Window of Opportunity

Georgia has stood as a national leader in the development of Pre-K and early learning programs for nearly two decades. In 1995, it became the first state to offer a universal preschool program for 4-year-olds, focused on improving school readiness and funded by the Georgia Lottery. Today, as Georgia’s enrollment growth outpaces lottery revenue generation, the state struggles to sustain the program’s esteemed standards while also trying to meet student demand.

The outcome has been significant reductions in overall lottery education funding, in operating funds for providers, and in teacher salaries. Additionally, these recent budget cuts highlight the fact that over the past 16 years, the state investment in its 4-year-olds has declined. While no one wants quality to suffer, schools cannot be expected to deliver the same results with fewer resources each year.

Georgia must make Pre-K funding a higher priority or we risk the future of our children and the economic prosperity of our state.

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Why is Pre K Important

  • Ninety percent of brain development occurs by age 5
  • Georgia Pre K ensures children will be more prepared for kindergarten and quality Pre K has shown to increase standardized test scores and graduation rates
  • The economic impact of investing $1 in early education saves $6 down the road by reducing the need for remedial and special education, welfare and criminal justice services
  • Early investment yields additional long-term ROI in terms of workforce productivity and leading to a better economic outcome for the future of Georgia

Georgia Pre K at a Glance 2012-2013

  • 170 Days of instruction
  • 22 Children per Class
  • 84,000 slots with approximately
  • More than 7,000 children are on a Pre K waiting list
  • $3561 funding per student
  • Nearly half( 47%) of the children served by Georgia Pre K are economically disadvantaged
  • Bright From the Start oversees the program which is delivered across both private child care centers and public school systems

How the GCCA Has Recently Helped Georgia Pre K Programs

Department of Labor, Unemployment Benefits for Pre K Teachers

Gcca met with Mark Butler, Commissioner of Department of Labor to discuss the practice of granting Pre K teachers unemployment during holidays and summer vacations although teachers were returning in the fall and had received an annual salary, distributed over 10 months. We asked for parity with public school teachers who were ineligible as this practice drives up program’s total payroll cost, taking needed resources from the children they serve and for their employees.

Effective 2012, DOL passed a rule making Pre K teachers ineligible for benefits during these times. The GCCA fully supports Pre K teachers and the work that they do. This clarification of ruling was promulgated due to the undue burden these claims have on YOUR business.

Professional Development Registry Protection

Prior to the 2012 legislative session, all personal and private information of center employees on the mandatory Professional Development Registry (PDR) was discoverable under Open Records Requests. The GCCA wanted to protect your employees from threats of unionization and overall protection of your most important business asset, your teachers.

The GCCA worked with DECAL to develop language that was added to HB 397 that prevents private information from being discoverable. This bill was passed during the 2012 session and now your employees are protected.

Provider Resources for Pre K

2012-2013 Pre K rates »

DOL Ruling on Pre K Teachers and Unemployment Benefits »

Current Pre K Operating Guidelines »

DECAL website for Pre K »

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Phone: (770) 752-4117
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