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West Hartford To Get More Preschool Funding as Part of Smart Start

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West Hartford is one of 14 communities in Connecticut awarded funding for additional preschool slots.

We-Ha.com file photo

We-Ha.com file photo

By Ronni Newton

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Monday that 14 towns and cities throughout the state will be awarded a total of $3.5 million in state funding to expand the availability of high-quality preschool, and included in that total is $293,350 to add four additional classrooms for 60 children in West Hartford beginning in FY16.

According to a news release from the governor’s office, the funds for the additional preschool slots will come from the 10-year Smart Start intitiative that begins in FY16. Funding for Smart Start’s operational expenses will come from the Tobacco Settlement Fund, and capital improvement funding will come from bonds. The funding allocated to West Hartford will be for operational costs only.

Operational expenses for classrooms beginning in September will be available in July 2015, according to the release.

“One of the reasons I helped develop Connecticut’s Smart Start initiative was to  have the state partner with communities in order to provide high-quality, accredited pre-school classes for children,” State Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford), who was an outspoken advocate of last year’s Smart Start legislation, said in the release. “The end result is that as of today, hundreds of parents and kids in more than a dozen cities and towns across Connecticut are going to have brand new access to high-quality, NAEYC-accredited pre-K programs,” Bye said.

“We must ensure that children are equipped with the tools they need to succeed in life – regardless of income or zip code,” said Governor Malloy in the release. “Expanding the availability of preschool options in our state will prepare them for college and careers in a global, 21st Century economy.”

In addition to West Hartford, communities receiving Smart Start funding are: Ansonia, Bridgeport, Coventry, Derby, East Hartford, East Haven, Enfield, Killingly, Norwich, Plainfield, Stamford, Wallingford, and Windsor. Spaces for a total of 416 additional preschool spots will be funded statewide.

ClassroomsStudents Capital Improvement Funding (State Bond Funds)Operations Funding(Tobacco Settlement Fund)
Ansonia1 15$0$90,000
Bridgeport4 60$164,000$300,000
Clinton1 15$75,000$75,000
Coventry2 30$150,000$150,000
East Hartford2 30$150,000$150,000
East Haven2 30$148,055$150,000
Enfield2 26$150,000$130,000
Killingly1 15$75,000$75,000
Norwich1 15$75,000$75,000
Plainfield1 15$75,000$75,000
Stamford1 15$75,000$75,000
Wallingford2 30$150,000$150,000
West Hartford4 60$0$293,350
Windsor460$300,000$300,000
Total28 classrooms  416 children$1,587,055$2,088,350

For more information about Smart Start, please visit the Office of Early Childhood website atwww.ct.gov/oec/smartstart.

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