Hawaii expanding free preschool options at public schools

HONOLULU — The state is expanding free preschool programs at public elementary schools on four Hawaii islands.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday that the new pre-kindergarten classes are available at elementary schools on Oahu, Molokai, Hawaii island and Maui.

Families with lower incomes will be given priority.

The new classes mean there are now 24 campuses with preschool supported by the state Executive Office on Early Learning.

The 2018 KIDS COUNT Databook says less than half of Hawaii’s 3- and 4-year-old children attend preschool or nursery school.

The University of Hawaii Center on the Family says the average yearly price for full-time preschool tuition is $9,500, or nearly $800 a month. That’s nearly the equivalent of in-state tuition at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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