A series featuring communities that have a plan to expand preschool.
There are 7,805 children under age 6 living in New Bedford. A young child raised in our city is more than twice as likely to live below the poverty line as an average Massachusetts child (38 percent versus 17 percent).
If it were funded, New Bedford’s Preschool Expansion Strategic Plan would, over a two-year period, add 10 new full-day preschool classrooms for children ages 2.9-5 years in four preschool centers and one public school. Located throughout the city, these new classrooms would be supplemented with comprehensive services for 200 children. These services would include speech evaluations, special education referrals, mental health services and screening for child development, as well as health, hearing, vision, and dental services.
Family Advocates would provide parents and children with the necessary referrals. The program would serve children of all abilities, and it would be free of charge to parents.