News Releases

Op-ed: Pre-K may be available at no cost for your child

Pre-K may be available at no cost for your child

By State Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond)

According to recent studies, high-quality pre-K education can greatly increase the academic readiness for all children.

Initially established as a pilot program in 2014 by the Indiana General Assembly, the On My Way Pre-K Grant program awards money to low-income families in all 92 counties who wish to enroll their child in Waterford's UPSTART pre-K program.

Through the program, children are taught early reading, math and science through instructional hours, lessons, activities, books and animated songs. Students follow their own personalized learning path, but must use the program at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, the year before entering kindergarten.

Families are partnered with a personal care representative who will monitor each child’s progress. Access to live help by phone or email is available six days a week.

There are set income guidelines for families that may qualify for financial assistance, children must be four years old and starting kindergarten in the 2022-2023 school year, and parents or guardians must be working, job training or completing their education.

I strongly urge eligible residents living in Senate District 27 to apply and ensure that their child is ready for elementary school.

If you are interested in learning more about UPSTART and to find out if your family qualifies, visit or call 800-669-4533.

If you are interested in learning more about the On My Way Pre-K Grant or becoming a provider, visit or call 800-299-1627.

I encourage you to contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding legislative topics that I may address at or by calling 800-382-9467.